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New York adopted more strict ballot access rules ahead of the 2020 election, making it harder for minor political parties to qualify.

Strict N.Y. ballot access rules upheld, imperiling minor parties

One minor political party is fighting to remain on the ballot in New York, but its efforts — and those of other alternatives to the Democratic and Republican parties — were dealt a severe blow this week.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a lower court's ruling, rejecting a challenge to New York's new ballot qualification rules. The Serve American Movement (also known as the SAM Party) claimed the rule change, which increased the number of votes political parties need in order to qualify for the ballot, violated its members' First and Fourteenth amendment rights.

Democracy reform advocates argue limiting ballot access for third parties only perpetuates polarization and the two-party duopoly in America. The share of voters who don't identify with either major party has trended upward over the past two decades and is expected to continue to grow.

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"Growing dissatisfaction with the two-party system and a frustration with government and the partisan entities that control it has fueled the growth of the independent voting bloc," writes Reilly.

Four ways the Biden administration should reach out to independents

Reilly is a professor of public affairs at Arizona State University. He was chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education from 2017 to last year.

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