National news from a Pennsylvania perspective

State Supreme Court upholds ridiculous ballot requirements

The PA State Supreme Court seems hell-bent on restricting access to the ballot for third party candidates.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) The state Supreme Court dealt another blow Tuesday to a Green Party candidate’s U.S. Senate campaign by refusing to reduce the number of signatures that minor-party candidates need to run for statewide office.

In a one-sentence order, the court upheld a state judge’s decision in August that required Carl Romanelli to gather an unusually high 67,070 signatures to qualify for the Nov. 7 ballot alongside Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and Democratic state Treasurer Bob Casey.

Romanelli had argued that the formula for calculating the number of signatures should be based on last year’s judicial retention elections in which state judges run unopposed and voters cast up-or-down votes on whether they should serve additional 10-year terms.

I’ve always contended that the system is rigged when it comes to allowing third party candidates onto the ballot. There is absolutely no defensible reason to have a different set of rules for candidates from “fringe” parties than for those in the two mainstream parties.

As a side note, this could be big trouble for Santorum. While most polling has Santorum down with or without Romanelli on the ballot, Santorum obviously will do better with the liberal Romanelli pulling votes from Casey’s base. Romanelli gives pro-abortion voters somewhere to go to vote their conscience. 2016