McKoon: End signature requirement for Independents

By: Robbie Watson

rwatson@wltz.com

COLUMBUS, GA (WLTZ) — WLTZ First News first broke the story that the most popular candidate for Muscogee County Sheriff had failed to make the ballot as an independent candidate. The reason, she failed to get enough signatures to qualify. That signature requirement, 5 percent of registered voters is now being challenged.

A federal judge recently ruled that requiring one percent of voters signatures was unconstitutional.

That insurmountable task of having to collect more than 5,000 signatures just to get your name on the ballot as an independent in Muscogee County might soon be a thing of the past. State Senator Josh McKoon tells WLTZ First News he will introduce legislation next session to formally eliminate what he calls an election barrier.
 
"Well I think there is more focus and interest than there has ever been on the question of third party access and Independent ballot access because of what was happening at the Presidential level which is the federal judge you’re talking about and then of course we had some things here happening locally about people trying to access that Independent ballot line why should an Incumbent who already belongs to a political party get automatic ballot access as an Independent but Joe Citizen can’t get the same treatment it just doesn’t make sense."
 
Now McKoon is expecting an uphill battle in both chambers where he says incumbents aren’t likely to welcome election competition with open arms.