Congressional candidate fights election law

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By Carol A. Clark

With speculation mounting that a new ballot access law will prevent full and fair elections in November, Democratic congressional candidate Don Wiviott is speaking out against it. Thursday, the Santa Fe homebuilder called on the entire field of Democratic candidates to join him in fighting for a more open political process this primary season.House Bill 1156, signed into law last year, limits the number of candidates political parties may place on their primary ballots. Under the new law, candidates must receive at least 20 percent of the delegates during pre-primary conventions in order to be placed on the ballot.Under prior law, candidates were able to obtain access to the ballot by submitting additional nominating petitions from registered voters.Wiviott expressed concern that the new 20-percent threshold may have unintended consequences for the Democratic Party this fall. In races like the 3rd Congressional District where multiple candidates have announced their intention to run, a 20-percent threshold may be impossible for anyone to meet.With so many candidates in the race, Wiviott said Democrats face the very real possibility that the delegate vote will be split so many ways that no candidate can receive 20 percent. Should that happen, the law has no provisions for review or appeal.

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