Libertarian Candidate Faces Uphill Ballot Battle To Challenge Marjorie Taylor Greene
After finding herself unable to support either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, Angela Pence (no relation to the former vice president) started looking outside the confines of either Republican or Democratic politics. That led her to the Libertarian Party (L.P.). In 2020, she started volunteering for Jo Jorgensen’s campaign and serving as political director for the Georgia L.P.
For the 2022 election cycle, Pence decided to throw her own hat into the ring, by running against Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene in the race to represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. Greene, in just a single term, has garnered a reputation as a kook, spreading outlandish conspiracy theories ranging from defending QAnon, to suggesting that California wildfires were intentionally caused by lasers from outer space. Just last month, Greene appeared as a speaker at a white nationalist political conference. There would seem to be plenty of room for a competitor.
But before someone like Pence can make her case to voters, she has to clear another hurdle: Georgia’s ballot access laws.
Georgia’s laws are quite onerous: To qualify for the ballot in a race for a districted position, a candidate needs to collect the signatures of 5 percent of all registered voters in their district—for the U.S. House, that means between 20,000 and 25,000 signatures. Conveniently, the two major parties are exempt from this rule, by virtue of having been on the ballot previously.
The law was initially passed in 1943, at a time when the state was also barring Communists from running for office. Perhaps not surprisingly, since 1943, not one single third-party candidate has made it onto the ballot for a districted race in Georgia. Last year, on a challenge from the Georgia L.P., a district court tossed the 5-percent rule, replacing it with a rule only requiring signatures from one-percent of registered voters. But earlier this year, the 11th Circuit Cou
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