We over at Third Candidates took time this summer and fall to learn more about the process independent and third party candidates go through in order to be granted ballot access.
Like a lot of things in our system, ballot access is badly in need of simplification so political competition can be a little more free flowing. Just like getting on a debate stage, being on the ballot brings an air of viability to a candidate. Keeping that at arms length is an effective way to stifle competition.
If an individual can't easily get ballot access, or a party can't provide it, ambitious, up-and-coming politicians are more likely to join the D or R parties.
Our next episode will look into a reform that many readers of this site are probably aware of: Ranked Choice Voting.
Photo Credit: Shawn M. Griffiths / IVN.us