Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The RNLA's Ballot Access Initiative Featured in the National Journal

The National Journal reported yesterday on the RNLA’s efforts to ensure that every Republican Candidate has an opportunity to get on the ballot in each of the 50 states and 6 American territories.  The Ballot Access Initiative, spearheaded by Co-Chairs Stefan Passantino and Peter Schalestock with help from their team of RNLA volunteers, have come up with the most sweeping ballot-access project in GOP history.

Getting on the ballot as a candidate seems like a simple task, however, each jurisdiction has different rules, which can cost a campaign a lot of money.  According to the article:

How much money?  Ac­cord­ing to Stefan Passantino, a Wash­ing­ton, D.C.-based at­tor­ney who served as co­chair­man of the Bal­lot Ac­cess Ini­ti­at­ive, the num­ber reaches eas­ily in­to the six fig­ures.

It typ­ic­ally costs “tens of thou­sands of dol­lars in dir­ect re­search costs to the cam­paign,” Passantino said. “When you com­bine that with the ad­di­tion­al costs in­curred in hav­ing to hire pro­fes­sion­al sig­na­ture-gather­ers be­cause of an in­ab­il­ity to fully al­loc­ate vo­lun­teer re­sources at the out­set, the amount un­doubtedly ex­tends to six fig­ures.”

RNLA President Larry Levy, who served as gen­er­al coun­sel to Rudy Gi­uliani’s 2008 White House bid as well as RNLA Chairman Randy Evans, a senior advisor for Newt Gingrich’s 2012 Presidential Campaign recognized the difficulties presented to counsels for a candidate to get access to the ballot in all of the states.

“We both had ex­per­i­ence in rep­res­ent­ing pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates and re­cog­nized how dif­fi­cult and time-con­sum­ing it is to get on the bal­lot in every jur­is­dic­tion,” Levy said of him­self and Evans.

Evans, re­call­ing his ex­per­i­ence with the Gin­grich cam­paign, ad­ded: “I know how pain­ful it was in Vir­gin­ia when we couldn’t muster enough sig­na­tures to get on the bal­lot. It’s im­port­ant for can­did­ates to know what the rules are.”

The RNLA launched the Ballot Access Initiative back in January of 2015 after the midterm elections.  
In the past, one of the challenging hurdles for even the strongest candidates has been the legal technicalities of actually getting their name on the ballot in all 50 states and 6 territories. In fact, during the last cycle there was one state where only two candidates' names were on the ballot even though more viable candidates remained in the race.
The RNLA thanks all who were involved over the past nine months to help accompany the goals that the Ballot Access Project set out to accomplish. 

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