February 11, 2016

Are Indiana's Requirements To Get On A Statewide Ballot Too Tough?

Some state legislative leaders says it’s worth exploring whether the requirements to get on Indiana’s statewide ballots are too stringent.   - file photo

Some state legislative leaders says it’s worth exploring whether the requirements to get on Indiana’s statewide ballots are too stringent.

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- Some state legislative leaders says it’s worth exploring whether the requirements to get on Indiana’s statewide ballots are too stringent.  The question surfaced as U.S. Rep. Todd Young’s candidacy for U.S. Senate is in jeopardy over failing to collect enough signatures to meet the required threshold.

Candidates for U.S. Senate must submit 500 signatures from registered voters in each of Indiana's congressional districts in order to be on the ballot.  Young submitted more than 650 signatures in the 1st congressional district, but county clerks validated only 501 of them.  And counts performed by Statehouse media found only 497 signatures.  Speaker Brian Bosma says he was surprised when he heard Young only had 501 certified signatures to begin with.

“That’s cutting it way too close for most candidates, I would say.  I understand how they got there but it’s…pretty short,” Bosma said.

Senate GOP Leader David Long says if Young’s signature count is short, it would be, in his words, “one of the most colossal mistakes” he’s ever seen.  And Long says, going forward, it might be time to reexamine the signature requirement.

“Obviously it shows that you have support throughout the state as a statewide candidate – that’s the theory behind it," Long said. "I’m not sure it serves its purpose anymore.”

Speaker Bosma disagrees, saying the hurdle the signatures represent isn’t too high. 

The State Election Commission will decide the challenge to Young’s candidacy, potentially at its meeting next week.

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