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Time for more choices

By Staff
In a time when more and more voters are becoming disillusioned with the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, those voters should have more choices when it comes to political parties.
That’s why it is likely many voters in North Carolina were heartened this week to learn a lawsuit filed by the Libertarian and Green parties will head to trial. That lawsuit complains that it is too difficult to place their candidates on ballots in North Carolina.
Instead of making it extremely difficult for “third” parties to place candidates on ballots in this state, North Carolina should do its voters a service and find a reasonable way for “third” parties to put their candidates into play when it comes to elections.
This week, Superior Court Judge Leon Stanback denied motions for summary judgment requested by the two parties and the state of North Carolina in Wake County court, according to an Associated Press report. The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 11, but it likely will be delayed.
The lawsuit contends state law that sets standards to be identified as a political party and allowing a party’s candidates to be on ballots is so oppressive that it violates the rights of party members to freedom of speech and association. The lawsuit was filed in September 2005.
Haugh and Howe are right. The Libertarian and Green parties want to give voters more choices. There’s nothing wrong with that.
In a court brief, the AP reported state attorneys argued that the state’s Legislature implemented objective criteria ‘‘to maintain the integrity of the election process by requiring the demonstration of a modicum of support before a political party is granted ballot access.’’
Remember, the N.C. General Assembly’s members are mostly, if not entirely, either Democrats or Republicans. It’s probably a safe bet to say they would prefer the Legislature’s membership reflect a two-party system — their parties. There are some who would like to see their party alone control the state House and state Senate, but that’s another matter entirely.
Hopefully, the Libertarian and Green parties will prevail in their lawsuit.
The real winners will be the state’s voters, who will have more choices. More choices should make for better government.