USA Today — It is a quirk of American democracy: Your choices for president depend on which state you live in.
For instance, voters in Colorado and New Mexico who do not want to vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama for president will have the option to vote for Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party, Libertarian Gary Johnson or several others — but those candidates will not be on the ballot in neighboring Oklahoma.
While Republicans and Democrats are campaigning already, third parties are scrambling this summer to master the intricacies of ballot-access laws in each state just to get their presidential candidates on the ballot.
“The time, money and energy spent getting on the ballot is more than the time, money and energy spent once we are on the ballot in most of these states,” said Phil Huckelberry, co-chairman of the Green Party’s ballot access committee.
Some parties fly trained volunteers around the country to gather signatures on ballot petitions; others pay contractors to gather signatures at a cost of as much as $2-$3 per valid signature.
Project Vote Smart, which provides background information on political candidates, is tracking more than 300 people who have either declared their candidacy for the presidency or are potential “draft” or write-in candidates.
But, Director Kristin Vicedomini said, “probably under 15 would get on any presidential ballot … not even some of the major third parties will get on all 50.”Continue Reading on www.usatoday.com