A Davie County senator has introduced a bill that would reduce the number of signatures that third-party and unaffiliated candidates need to get on the ballot.
Senate Bill 656, titled Electoral Freedom Act, is sponsored by Andrew Brock, R-Davie. He could not be reached for comment. The bill, if signed into law, would take effect Jan. 1.
State law requires party candidates for governor and president to have gotten at least 2 percent of the entire statewide vote for either race in the previous general election.
The bill would give a new political party the option to submit to the State Board of Elections signatures of at least 10,000 registered and qualified voters statewide. Their petition also must be signed by at least 200 registered voters in at least three congressional districts.
For unaffiliated candidates for governor and president, their petitions must be signed by at least 5,000 qualified voters and also meet the same requirement of 200 registered voters in at least three congressional districts.
For unaffiliated candidates for county or legislative office, their petition must be signed by at least 3 percent — down from 4 percent — of the total number of registered voters in the county as of Jan. 1 of the year for a general election.