Ballot Access in Ohio

Political minorities are legally discriminated against in Ohio.

tl;dr The laws governing political parties in Ohio are corrupt.

Article 1 Section 2 of the Ohio Constitution: 

“All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter, reform, or abolish the same, whenever they may deem it necessary; and no special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted, that may not be altered, revoked, or repealed by the general assembly.”

Section 3:

“The people have the right to assemble together, in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good; to instruct their representatives; and to petition the general assembly for the redress of grievances.”

The laws of the state are written pursuant to these ends.

When I disagree with the law, I’m told electoral politics is the way to change it. My one voice and vote is not enough, and a coalition of like-minded individuals makes sense, hence the existence of political parties.

When the existing political parties are insufficient for the changes I pursue, I’m told to start my own party. Starting small is fairly good advice as well as an oppositional point to running alternative candidates for President or Governor.

Yet the state of Ohio requires, due to laws created by existing political parties, new political parties must garner state-wide support through petitioning requirements as well as electoral benchmarks in the state-wide races of Governor or President to continue to exist in years beyond the one’s qualified by petitioning.

Ohio has no legal path for a regional political party to take hold. The Cincinnati Charter party is one example of a regional group that is not legally allowed to have their party name on local ballots under current Ohio election law. Having a party name on the ballot helps identity candidates as well as inform the electorate to alternatives they might otherwise never hear about. State laws affect the city, and a regional party could benefit by running candidates for Ohio House and Senate in their geographic region. Legally it can’t be done without signatures of half of Ohio’s counties, just for a regional group. Starting a chapter of the Libertarian Party in Ohio faces the same discrimination.

Silly, isn’t it? Downright criminal if you ask me.

(Reference  Chapter 3517 – Ohio Revised Code | Ohio Laws)

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