Voter Freedom Act: It’s time

Dr. Joe GuarinoOne piece of legislation in which I have acute interest is HB 794– the Voter Freedom Act.  And there is some good news to report.  The bill just passed its third reading in the North Carolina House of Representatives.  That means it beat the “crossover deadline,” and is headed over to the North Carolina Senate for consideration.

The Voter Freedom Act would begin the process of fixing a longstanding inequity in the state of North Carolina.  Currently, our state has enormous legal barriers erected that are designed to prevent participation by third parties in the political process.  The legislation passed this week by the House would mandate the study of ballot access reform, and ultimately lead to recommendations for the General Assembly to adopt.  (The language in the bill, however, is a bit muddy.)

Yes, this is a gradual process.  But it is apparently what was politically achievable this year.

Disclosure: I happen to be affiliated with the Constitution Party of North Carolina.  A number of other third parties, however, also have an interest in seeing such legislation adopted.

It will now be very important for the North Carolina Senate to consider this legislation in good faith, and allow a vote.

My understanding is that some Republicans in Raleigh are concerned this type of legislation would represent a threat to the Republican Party.  Perhaps that is why the Voter Freedom Act is only a “study bill.”  But improved ballot access would also help third parties on the left side of the political spectrum–not just the right.

Political liberty is inconsistent with North Carolina’s status quo that allows only two political parties to possess a near-stranglehold on ballot access.  Voters ought to be free to choose from a wider range of options across the political spectrum.  And third parties should be free to compete.

North Carolina Senate– it’s your turn!

Dr. Joe Guarino is the Guardian‘s senior columnist.

3 Responses to Voter Freedom Act: It’s time

  1. Dan Bayer says:

    We definitely need more electoral competition in this state and country.

  2. Brian Irving says:

    Thanks for the support. Yes, there are Republicans, and Democrats, who basically fear competition. They are perfectly happy to preserve the duopoly.

  3. Al Pisano says:

    The free market of political ideas will only benefit all North Carolinian s. voters need to made aware of the fact that they,the voters, are not only being denied the opportunity to vote for a candidate or political party that best represents them but they need to understand that they are being denied their rights as citizens to a free vote. Being told that you have a choice but the choice is only party “A” or “B” is really no choice at all. Come on North Carolina legislature, vote to give you fellow citizens Voter FREEDOM. Pass the HB 794

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