Ralph Nader may be accustomed to losing elections, but it takes a special kind of talent to lose before the first ballot has been cast. But that is just what happened back in 2004, when Hawaiian election officials kept independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader off the state ballot for failing to meet that state’s ballot access requirements.
Ballot access is a catch-all term for the requirements a candidate must meet before their name can appear on the ballot. Generally, a candidate is required to demonstrate a minimum level of support before the state will start printing ballots with their name on it. Ballot access laws vary significantly from state to state, but one thing is almost universally true: candidates from major parties, Republicans and Democrats, have a much easier time getting on the ballot than independents and third-party candidates. [Read more…] about HI (ballot access): Gotta be in it to win it: Ralph Nader loses Hawaiian ballot access challenge