Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pub plug: Ballot Access News

After years of meaning to but never getting around to it, I finally subscribed to Ballot Access News recently -- and I'm glad I did.

Why pop $14 a year for the paper version of a newsletter when you can "just read the web site?" I can think of at least two reasons specific to this newsletter:

- If you're involved in ballot access projects, or just interested in third party political prospects, the dead tree version is indispensable. So far, each successive issue has replaced the previous one in the "place for important papers" between my keyboard and monitor stand. When's the independent deadline in Tennessee? ... (crackle, crackle) ... August 21st. Can a get a third party ticket still make it onto the ballot in Rhode Island? ... (crackle, crackle) ... No, that took 18,557 signatures and was due on May 30th. I guess I may have strange interests, but trust me -- if you have BAN in front of you, you'll use it and benefit from it.

- BAN's publisher, Richard Winger, is the living authority on ballot access, and he puts his expertise at the disposal of third parties. He helps lobby and litigate for easier ballot access through the Coalition for Free and Open Elections. I've had a number of correspondences and/or conversations with him over the years. Every one of those correspondences/conversations was worth far more than the cost of a BAN subscription in terms of quantity and quality of advice ... and he's never made subscribing a pre-condition for sharing his time and knowledge.

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