How hard would it be to collect ballot access signatures for a Nazi candidate in the U.S.? by Tony Garcia
Answer by Tony Garcia:
Unfortunately, not as difficult as one might presume. Ballot access laws vary widely from state to state. Florida, for example, has very tolerant ballot access for every type of candidate and doesn't require any petition, with the sole exception of an independent presidential candidate, who needs about 110,000 signatures by early July.(1) In Minnesota, a potential candidate need only obtain 2,000 signatures.(2)
Rather than run as an independent, one may opt to run as a write-in candidate. “In 33 states, a write-in candidate must file some paperwork in advance of the election. In nine states, write-in voting for presidential candidates is not permitted. The remaining states do not require write-in candidates to file paperwork in advance of the election.”(3)
With the number of neo-Nazi and hate groups in the United States having risen for the second year in a row in 2016 (4), I think it is only a matter of time before hate-mongering candidates garner sufficient signatures from their membership and sympathizers to put their names on enough ballots to become recognized as a national malignancy.