Uphill Battle For Third Party

Tennessee Republicans are balking at a Democratic senator’s proposal to make it easier for minor parties to be listed on the ballot.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis wants to set a threshold of 10,000 signatures from eligible voters for a third party to be recognized in the state, down from a GOP proposal of about 40,000 signatures from registered voters.

Kyle said his measure is being opposed by Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office. State Election Coordinator Mark Goins said his technical concerns about the measure include that the state can only verify the signatures of registered voters, but has no way to check eligible voters.

Republican House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga says he wants to avoid too many minor parties on the ballot.