State election laws don’t always make it easy for candidates, particularly challengers. Many of these laws are unduly restrictive, especially regarding ballot access.
But some “restrictions” are just what the people want.
Just ask Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Paul seems to have his sights set on the White House. But he’s a sitting senator, and 2016, the next presidential election outing, is when he would normally run for re-election. So he’s made it clear that he’d like to retain his spot in the Senate as well as run for the Top Banana position.
But there’s this snag. Kentucky (like some other states) does not allow for one person’s name to appear twice on the same ballot.
Is that a good law? I think so. It breaks up some of the power of incumbency.
And it seems a wrong that the election of a U.S. Senator could be moot and a new election be held when far fewer voters are likely to cast ballots.
Given that it is the voters who have most to lose, in a sense, you can see why Kentuckians like their law. According to a new poll, 54 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents, and 78 percent of Democrats oppose changing the law to allow for Rand Paul to run for both. A retired farmer seems to speak for a lot of Kentuckians: “I can see the dilemma,” the man is quoted in the Courier-Journal. “If you’re going to do it, go all the way.”
Of course, Sen. Paul will still be able to test the presidential waters before deciding to bite the bullet. But a time for choosing will come.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.