Mike Folmer Re-introduces Voter Choice Act

Member Group : News Releases

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
3915 Union Deposit Road #223
Harrisburg, PA 17109

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2009

Contact: Doug Leard (Media Relations) / [email protected] or
Michael Robertson (Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS / [email protected]

Harrisburg, PA – The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) strongly endorses
state senator Mike Folmer’s ( http://senatorfolmer.com/ ) Voters’ Choice Act, Senate Bill (SB) 252. As stated on Senator Folmer’s website, the Voters’ Choice Act would "eliminate unfair hurdles that obstruct ballot access for minor party and independent candidates."

Indeed, Senator Folmer’s legislation provides for significantly fairer ballot access in Pennsylvania. Candidates would need to collect the same amount of signatures as required of major party candidates in order to appear on the November ballot. (Minor party or independent candidates do not participate in the Primary Election). A political party would need from 0.05 and 15 percent of the total number of registered Pennsylvania voters as of 21 days prior to the date of the Primary Election in order to qualify as a "minor political party."

During the 2008 General Election, the Libertarian Party collected over 50,000
signatures to assure withstanding a political challenge and to provide
Pennsylvanians with additional choice at the ballot in November. In 2006, minor
party and independent statewide candidates in Pennsylvania were required to gather more than 67,000 signatures to appear on the November ballot. Major parties’ candidates had no such signature requirements for the General Election.

Commented Montgomery County Libertarian, Jim Babb, "In 1776,when Ben Franklin’s
legislature adopted Pennsylvania’s constitution they declared: ‘That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and unalterably established…elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.’ The Voters’ Choice Act is an important step toward the restoration of this forgotten right. Any Pennsylvania Senator who honors his oath to defend the Pennsylvania Constitution, should immediately become a co-sponsor of the Voters’ Choice Act."

"I’m cautiously optimistic", added Ken Krawchuk, the Libertarian candidate for
Pennsylvania Governor in 1998 and 2002. "Senator Folmer and the other eight
co-sponsors are to be heartily commended for their commitment to free and equal
elections, which are guaranteed by our Constitution. But it remains to be seen how many of the other forty-one senators believe in fair ballot access. Certainly the people of Pennsylvania deserve more and better choices on election day, and the Voters’ Choice Act will help provide just that — and even I might consider running for governor again."

The eight Senators who have co-sponsored the bill are
Pat Browne
Mary Jo White
Lisa Baker
Jeffrey Piccola
Rob Wonderling
Jane Earl
Jim Ferlo
Lisa Boscola

LPPA Chair, Michael Robertson, stated "We would like to thank those legislators who have demonstrated their support for Pennsylvania voters and the Commonwealth Constitution by their sponsorship of this bill."

The bill has been referred to the State Government Committee which is comprised of:

Charles McIlhinney, Jr. (Chair)
Mike Folmer (Vice Chair)
Anthony Williams (Minority Chair)
Joseph Scarnati, III (ex-officio)
Michael Brubaker, Jake Corman, John Pippy, Donald White (majority members)
Andrew Dinniman, Christine Tartalione, Leanna Washington (minority members)

The LPPa urges voters to support ballot choice by asking their state senator to
co-sponsor and support SB 252, the Voters’ Choice Act – especially if he/she is a member of the State Government Committee.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in Pennsylvania and the United States. More than 200,000 people across the country are registered
Libertarians, and Libertarians serve in hundreds of elected offices. Please visit www.LP.org or www.LPPA.org for more information.