Monday, January 26, 2009
In a press conference this morning from the Illinois State Capital, The Free and Equal Elections Foundation announced an ambitious campaign to help place an Independent and/or Third Party candidate on the ballot in EVERY SINGLE Congressional District for the 2010 mid term elections.
“While engaging in lobbying and litigation for improved ballot access laws as this year goes forward, Free & Equal will be fundraising to issue grants to prospective 2010 candidates to pay for the petitioning necessary to achieve a ballot line,” said Founder and Chairman of the Board Christina Tobin. “We must make sure that people all across America are able to have their voices heard, and that they are able to cast their vote for a candidate of principle, not a just candidate of the two party duopoly.”
“The goal of placing an Independent and/or Third Party candidate on the ballot in every single one of the 435 congressional districts is quite a daunting task, and we have no illusions that it will take extraordinary effort and extraordinary fundraising to make this a reality,” said Executive Director Christopher Thrasher.
Due to 501c4 constraints, Free & Equal will pay for the petitioning to place candidates on the ballot directly, in lieu of donating to a candidate. Free & Equal is committed to ensuring that ALL candidates have a reasonable chance of placing their names on the ballot, including Democrats and Republicans. Free & Equal will not be endorsing candidates, nor will any money be directed to the candidates themselves.
Recently, Free & Equal announced that Richard Winger, the leading advocate for reforming restrictive ballot access laws across the nation, has joined the Board of Directors. Winger is the editor and publisher of Ballot Access News, a newsletter covering Independent and Third Parties, as well as developments in election law reform. Ballot Access News is published monthly and is available online at http://www.ballot-access.org/.
“We are thrilled to have Richard Winger join the board of directors of Free and Equal,” said Tobin. “Richard brings with him a wealth of knowledge and an unmatched determination to reform ballot access laws. No one has worked harder to ensure that the voters have a real choice in the ballot box over the last forty years.”
Free & Equal has identified several potential lawsuits against restrictive ballot access laws, and is seeking sponsors for bills to ease signature requirements in many states.
Free & Equal is also at this time reaching out to activists across the ideological spectrum to complete the Board of Directors of the foundation.
The Free and Equal Elections Foundation is a non partisan, non profit 501c(4) organization dedicated to eliminating restrictive ballot access laws that target Independent and Third-Party Candidates. Free & Equal will challenge these laws, through lobbying of state legislators, court challenges, and initiatives, in addition to the campaign announced today to place an Independent and/or Third Party candidate on the ballot in each of the 435 congressional districts for the 2010 mid-term elections.
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