What are Third Party and Independent Candidates?
Third party and independent candidates are people running for political office who are not aligned with either the Democrats or Republicans.
Why are effective, competitive Third Parties, the answer to dysfunction and polarization?
The creation of one or more effective, competitive third political parties is the solution to the dysfunction and polarization for various reasons:
- By electing third party and independent candidates, the conversation is driven to the center of the political spectrum and away from polarization. Also, while over 30 states are currently dominated by one political party, in many cases the election of 10 or less third party or independent candidates will reduce the majority party to a plurality party. This shift alone becomes a major engine for change.
- Many of the changes needed to reform the political system to avoid dysfunction and polarization require legislative action by the entrenched legislators and bureaucrats that have no interest in doing so. Electing third party and independent candidates not only helps drive the conversation to the center, but creates more opportunity for compromise on essential issues.
- Having more third party and independent candidates on the ballot will help avoid the current situation in which the great majority of incumbents in many cases run opposed or, at best, have only token opposition. If nothing else, increased competition will cause the incumbents to become more issue focused and attentive to their fiduciary responsibilities as elected officials.
Can a Third Party / Independent candidate actually win an election?
Yes, the Internet is the greatest vehicle for democracy and political campaigns since the Declaration of Independence. The Internet allows third party and independent candidates to run effective campaigns without having to face the extreme costs of advertising and traditional public relations in running traditional political campaigns.
What are the general requirements to becoming a third party candidate?
You must obtain what is called Ballot Access for your state. To help you with this process, please select your state from this page, once on your Third Party 101 State page, click on the Ballot Access link.
Why would someone want to create a new third party?
Short of serving in the military, running for and holding public office is the greatest form of public service. It’s also the surest way to help solve the problems of dysfunction and polarization plaguing our political system.
I am not hearing much about the third party candidates in my area. How can I learn more?
In the last general election there were roughly 1800 third party and independent candidates on the ballot, many for lower level offices. Unfortunately, the press and other media, such as TV, have not been kind to these candidates. So, other that personal messaging on limited budgets, these candidacies are not well known. Our website hopes to help in this regard by identifying and publicizing such candidates and their campaigns.
Why have third party candidates not been successful to date?
NOTA is attempting to interview past candidates to help prospective candidates learn form their experience.
Here is a sampling of those interviews:
Are you a current candidate? Would you like to tell the story about the lessons you learned about running for office? Contact us and let us know!