Reprinted in full, with permission, from Ballot Access News, the newsletter of the highly respected and trustworthy ballot access expert Richard Winger.
Government-printed ballots in the United States were first created in 1888, and almost from the start, opponents of new and minor political parties started manipulating the ballot access laws to keep certain parties off the ballot. The first such instance was in Nevada, when the 1893 legislature increased the petition requirement for new parties and independent candidates to 10% of the last vote cast, in a vain attempt to keep the Peoples (Populist) Party off the ballot.
But in over a century of struggle to avoid monopolization of the general election ballot to just the two major parties, there has never been a pressure group that worked in favor of restrictive ballot access laws, until very recently. Leaders of the former New Alliance Party, who have renamed themselves several times, now call themselves IndependentVoting.org. They hold themselves out as the leaders of independent voters, but they have become a pressure group working to limit choices on the general election ballot to just Democrats and Republicans.