Yet again another Libertarian candidate has been denied access to the debate stage in an election. This time it is Cliff Hyra in his race for Governor of Virginia.
It is no surprise that the two party system is doing all it can to keep competition out of the eyes of the voters. Democrats and Republicans want to remain in power. When they have the power, they make the rules. This is why the legislatures of many states make things difficult for ballot access and entities associated with the two parties deny third parties access to the debates.
If voters were to be educated on their choices it would threaten the hold that these two parties have. By keeping debates limited to two choices, that is what the voters see. It is a dishonest representation of the electoral process that should be free and fair for all candidates involved.
Until ballot qualified candidates are allowed to debate, voters are only being presented with a partial truth of what will be on their ballot.
The worst part about this debate exclusion by the Virginia Bar Association, was the Mr. Hyra had met all the requirements to participate, except one: the VBA’s sole and exclusive judgement. Their reasoning was that he had not demonstrated to be a serious candidate.
First, in order to be considered a ballot qualified candidate, there is a whole host of paperwork involved in the process. For Virginia’s requirements for the Office of Governor, you can check here: http://www.elections.virginia.gov/Files/BecomingACandidate/CandidateBulletins/2017November7StatewideOffices.pdf
As can be seen, by paperwork and filing requirements alone, it can be a monumental task. Further, as Libertarians, even if you are the only candidate running in a race, all ballots are required to include the “NOTA” option, or none of the above. So you must still have the support of your party at its convention in order to have their nomination.