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2003 Ron Paul Chapter 55
1 May 2003
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Congressional Record Cached
Not linked on Ron Pauls Congressional website.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, May 1, 2003
2003 Ron Paul 55:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Voter Protection Act. Unlike most so-called campaign reform proposals, the Voter Protection Act enhances fundamental liberties and expands the exchange of political ideas. The Voter Fairness Act accomplishes this goal by lowering and standardizing the requirements for, and the time required to get, signatures to qualify a Federal candidate for the ballot. Many states have unfair rules and regulations that make it virtually impossible for minor party and independent candidates to get on the ballot.
2003 Ron Paul 55:2
I want to make 4 points about this bill. First, it is constitutional. Article I, section 4, explicitly authorizes the U.S. Congress to, At any time by law make or alter such regulations regarding the manner of holding elections. This is the authority that was used for the Voter Rights Act of 1965.
2003 Ron Paul 55:3
The second point I would like to make is an issue of fairness. Because so many states require independent candidates to collect an excessive amount of signatures in a short period of time, many individuals are excluded from the ballot. For instance, there has not been one minor party candidate on the Georgia ballot since 1943, because of Georgias overly strict ballot access requirements. This is unfair. The Voter Protection Act corrects this.
2003 Ron Paul 55:4
My third point addresses those who worry about overcrowding on the ballot. In fact, there have been statistical studies made of states that have minimal signature requirements and generous grants of time to collect the signatures. Instead of overcrowding, these states have an average of 3.3 candidates per ballot.
2003 Ron Paul 55:5
The fourth point that I would like to make is that complying with ballot access rules drains resources from even those minor party candidates able to comply with these onerous rules. This obviously limits the ability of minor party candidates to communicate their message and ideas to the general public. Perhaps the ballot access laws are one reason why voter turnout has been declining over the past few decades. After all, almost 42 percent of eligible voters have either not registered to vote or registered as something other than Democrat or Republican.
2003 Ron Paul 55:6
The Voter Protection Act is a constitutional way to reform campaign laws to increase voter participation by making the election process fairer and open to new candidates and ideas. I hope all my colleagues will join me in supporting this true campaign reform bill.