Letter to the Editor, LA Times, SB 505
After reading your recent editorial, Re: "Should Sacramento toughen the rules on who may run for President?” I wanted to note that my bill, SB 505, was misrepresented. The assertion that the prescribed requirements would prevent Peace and Freedom Party candidates from appearing on a presidential primary ballot is wrong.
In a state of 40 million residents and 20 million registered voters, a candidate seeking ballot access in the Peace and Freedom Party’s presidential primary would need to gather less than 800 signatures. This paltry signature threshold is not a major burden for their party’s candidates for the highest office in the land.
SB 505 maintains the existing pathway to a political party’s presidential primary ballot for candidates who are not a “generally advocated for or recognized candidate” by the Secretary of State. An unselected Peace and Freedom Party candidate currently needs to collect signatures of at least one percent of voters affiliated with the Peace and Freedom Party. According the Secretary of State’s Report of Registration from this past February, 76,784 voters affiliate themselves with the Peace and Freedom Party and the candidate would need to gather and submit only 768 valid signatures, the smallest amount for any of California’s six qualified political parties.
SB 505 sets minimal criteria for candidates seeking ballot access, and does not exclude serious candidates from seeking the Peace and Freedom Party’s nomination.
THOMAS J. UMBERG
Senator, 34th District