Richard Winger: Yes, Congress Can Pass a Law Mandating That All National Party Candidates for Federal Offices Appear on All State Ballots

Richard Winger

Responding to the Question:

Has anyone tried to get Congress to do a law putting all national party candidates on state ballots?

Richard Winger Responds:

Congress only has authority to regulate ballot access for federal elections (Congress and President).  In 9 different sessions of Congress, bills to require easy ballot access for minor party and independent candidates have been introduced, but they only pertain to president and Congress.

First John Conyers (D-Michigan) introduced it.  Then Tim Penny (D-Minnesota) introduced it.  Then Ron Paul introduced it, four times.  In 1998 it got to the House floor as an amendment, but only 67 members of the US House voted for it.

The authority is in Article I, Sec. 4: 

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.

Phi Beta Iota: There are four differences from the past when such legislation was introduced but easily blocked by the two-party tyranny:

01 Occupy Congress is now rising. Congress will not be able to stand up to 80% of the population demanding it be responsible.

02 The Internet now makes organized people more effective in shorter time than organized money.

03 The mystique of Congress is gone — everyone now recognizes the two-party tyranny for what it is — one bird, two wings, no difference.

04 The tangible financial crimes of Wall Street enabled by Congress, coming on top of the two elective wars that cost trillions to no good end, has exhausted public tolerance of Congressional corruption.

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