Florida Bill May Keep Tea Party Off Presidential Ballot

Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 12:12 PM

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Florida lawmakers placed a provision in the state’s election bill that would make it harder for new political parties to get their candidates on a presidential ballot, a move some say targets the tea party, the Tampa Tribune reported Thursday.

tea party,election bill,Federal Election Commission,Peg Dunmire
The provision would require a new party to be recognized as a national party by the Federal Election Commission in order to get on a presidential ballot. Or the party must collect voter petition signatures equal to 4 percent of voters in the state’s last presidential election, more than 335,000.

In addition, the party must collect 4 percent of those signatures in each of at least half the state’s congressional districts.

Peg Dunmire, chairman of a Florida party that says it represents the tea party movement, said the provision seems to be targeting the tea party, and keeping it from placing a presidential candidate on the 2012 Florida ballot.

"This is part of the assault to keep choice from the public," she said. "There's a concerted effort by the two parties to keep it a two-party system."

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