LIBERTARIAN KEN KRAWCHUK KICKS OFF BALLOT ACCESS SIGNATURE DRIVE
Ken Krawchuk, the Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania Governor, formally kicked off the party's 2014 petition drive for collecting the necessary signatures to get the Libertarian Party candidates on the November ballot. The petitioning period began on March 12 and ends on August 1, and official petitions for collecting signatures can be found at www.KenK.org/signatures, including detailed instructions.
"Today we begin the most difficult part of the campaign," Krawchuk said, "collecting signatures to get the Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot. What makes it so difficult are all the un-democratic antics of the two old parties. For years they've misused the power of law to erect huge barriers to competition at the ballot box. For example, where Governor Corbett needs only 2,000 signatures to get his name on the ballot, I need a whopping 16,639--over eight times as many!--even though the Pennsylvania Constitution mandates that 'all elections shall be free and equal.' Is that equal, I ask? Is that fair?"
In addition to Krawchuk, Libertarian Party officials have thus far identified dozens of candidates for the state house, state senate, and US Congress, with more stepping up as the campaign season gears up. Like Krawchuk, these candidates also face needlessly high barriers to gaining access to the ballot. Making matters worse, officials at the Department of State in Harrisburg have not been able to tell these candidates just how many signatures they'll need to get their names on the ballot.
"The election laws in Pennsylvania are so complicated that not even the state can cope with them," Krawchuk pointed out. "It's bad enough that so many of our candidates need to collect many, many times more signatures that the two old parties do; now these career bureaucrats refuse to even tell us how many signatures we need. It's obviously way past time we change these bad laws--and fire those inefficient bureaucrats."
To address these concerns, the Libertarian Party is strongly endorsing State Senator Mike Folmer's "Voters' Choice Act" (SB 195) which levels the playing field for challenger parties and independent candidates. However, the legislation currently remains stalled in the Senate State Government committee, mainly because its Republican chairman, Senator Lloyd Smucker, refuses to hold hearings on the bill, even though election statistics show that election reform is sorely needed in Pennsylvania: in the last statehouse election, almost half the races (95 out of 203) went completely uncontested, as did over a third of the state senate races (9 out of 25).
"Pennsylvania's ballot access laws are among the worst on the planet," Krawchuk asserted. "Not only do they violate the mandate of Article 1 Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, they also violate Sections 7.5
and 7.6 of the 1990 Helsinki Accords. In fact, in a 2007 report, the Helsinki Accords' Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights singled out Pennsylvania's bad example. Our ballot laws are worse than a
third-world dictatorship! And like in Soviet Russia, uncontested candidates coast to victory; and the only losers here are the people of Pennsylvania."
Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the state and the nation, with over 150 elected and appointed officials currently serving in office nationwide, and 40 in Pennsylvania. Like the Founding Fathers, Libertarians believe that you have the inalienable right to conduct your life as you see fit, without interference, so long as you respect the rights and property of others. As a result, Libertarians favor a small, responsible government.
For more information about the Libertarian Party, the public is invited to contact the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania at www.LpPa.org or
(800) R-RIGHTS, or the National Libertarian Party at www.Lp.org or (202) 333-0008.
For more information about the Krawchuk campaign, please visit the campaign website at www.KenK.org. The campaign can be contacted at Campaign@KenK.org, or 224-Krawchuk (224-572-9248).