Saturday, October 14, 2006, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

All political parties should play by the same rulesEdit

I will agree that Pennsylvania voters' choices are limited by ballot-access laws favoring Republicans and Democrats as indicated in the Post-Gazette ("Political Variety: Candidates Should Face the Same Petition Rules," Oct. 3). Factor in gerrymandered election districts, and the choice is often limited to one.

For the free and equal elections clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution to be truly enacted, the nominees of minor parties should be required to have the same number of signatures to be on the November ballot as those of the major parties, which is to say, none.

If the major parties wish to have a publicly funded nomination process, then it may be reasonable for candidates to demonstrate some support through signatures on petitions. The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania nominates candidates at its own expense.

A step in the right direction would be the adoption of the Voters Choice Act ( This act would define minor political parties based on voter registration and help to give Pennsylvanians the choices they deserve for their elected representatives.

As a result of the current system, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Tom Martin must now run a write-in campaign, and I encourage voters to use this option to send an excellent representative of Pennsylvania to Washington.

Michael Robertson, MICHAEL J. ROBERTSON, Western Vice-Chair, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania Clarion County

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