Third-party or Independent candidates are receiving attention in the race for U.S. President.
Third party or Independent candidates are receiving attention in the race for U.S. President.
The organization called “No Labels” says it’s work centers on giving voters another choice beyond Joe Biden and Donald Trump. An official in the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office says a representative from No Labels has contacted the Frankfort office. The inquiry was information-gathering in nature. Secretary of State Michael Adams said to get on the ballot, 5000 signatures must be submitted by 4:00 on September sixth.
“I do think you need some kind of filter. I think 5000 signatures is reasonable. That means you’ve got some minimal level of support versus just an ego trip to go put your name on the ballot. That means you got people that are willing to sign and say I want this person on the ballot so I think there needs to be some filter, but I think 5000’s pretty doable,” said Adams.
Adams said Kentucky is different from states like California where he says a hundred people could make it onto the ballot. The states top election officer noted it’s conceivable there will be a libertarian candidate, maybe Green Party, and maybe others in Kentucky’s presidential race.
University of Kentucky Political Science Professor Steve Voss has studied third-party issues. He said, traditionally, it makes more sense for most voters to go with the Democrat or Republican, whichever is closest to their preference.
“But if we ever are gonna have a time when a third party or an independent candidate could break through it would be a time like now when voters are upset with both the choice they’ll have on the left and the choice they’ll have on the right,” said Voss.
While Voss said this could be a time for increased interest in a third party or independent, being successful on election day is another thing. He said that person starts off way behind because election infrastructure would be lacking. And then there’s the challenge of meeting voter interests.
“What they are quickly gonna find out is that all the folks who want neither Trump nor Biden are all over the place in terms of their policy preferences. All over the place in what they’d like to see the country do and uniting that group of unhappy people would be as difficult for a third party or independent candidate as it is for the Democrat and the Republican,” said Voss.
Still Voss noted any third-party or independent candidate who might show any sign of being likely to win, the money and organization would be there.
Lawmakers at the state level, with the focus on legislation affecting Kentuckians, do, at times, take an interest in federal politics. Lawrenceburg GOP Senator Adrienne Southworth said she’s always been supportive of widespread ballot access. But she thinks the political thought that it’s too high a mountain to climb for a third party or independent, does factor into voters’ minds.
“A lot of people want to gravitate toward the winner so there’s like this really strong feeling out there that well Trump’s winning anyway, so just go there. But, I think you also have a lot of people who lots of hate out there for both Trump and Biden and so this may be one of those years where..it was the same way in 2016,” said Southworth.
Veteran Democratic Senator Robin Webb said the founders of the country didn’t specify only two parties. And the Grayson lawmaker sees younger voters wanting to go another way.
“With the state of the politics today and the parties today, that’s gonna eventually happen anyway with the emergence of young voters note buying into the partisan politics. And the trends that we’re seeing of more independent ideology,” said Webb.
Webb said the traditional GOP and Democratic parties could lose out on that constituency because she feels young voters will remain engaged and activate in non-traditional ways.
Senate President Pro Tem David Givens said as a student of the election process, meeting the signature requirements should open the ballot access door. He was asked if Kentuckians want a choice, other than Joe Biden or Donald Trump.
“There is a lot of interest both expressed by the Media and expressed by colleagues of mine and friends of mine about other alternatives than the candidates that seem to be emerging,” said Givens.
According to the online news source Axios, “No Labels” has indicated it would evaluate a potential presidential ticket between the Super Tuesday primary elections in early March and an April convention.
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