- No independent candidate for U.S. Representative from Georgia has ever qualified under the current law.
- About 20,000 valid signatures are required for each district. District lines are irregular and split up counties into multiple voting jurisdictions, making it difficult for voters to know which district is theirs. As a result, an unusually large number of signatures must be collected to ensure that the final list contains enough valid signatures. This signature requirement is higher than any other state.
- The secretary of state has delegated the validation process to counties with no validation standards, so each county makes up its own. That increases the need to collect even more signatures to make up for any additional unknown margin of error.
- Collecting enough valid signatures using paid petitioners would cost around $2.5 million dollars. Democrats and Republicans, meanwhile, retain ballot access with no cost at all.
- In addition to the signature requirement, a qualifying fee is assessed that would amount to $73,080 statewide. This fee is higher than in any other state.
- Since the law was enacted in its present form, 27 candidates have announced their candidacies and then failed to obtain enough petition signatures. This includes an attempt by former congressional Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who wanted to run as a Green Party candidate.
- As a result, 15 Republican and Democratic candidates have run unopposed from 2012 to 2016. That amounts to 36 percent of the state’s candidates for U.S. representative running unopposed during that period, the highest percentage of any state in the country.
- Georgia is the only state with different petition signature requirements for statewide races and district races. Statewide races require signatures from only 1 percent of eligible voters, contrasted with 5 percent for district races. Numerous Libertarian Party candidates have run statewide. Four of them have received more than 30 percent of the vote, including Eric Hoskins, who garnered 33 percent of the votes for the Georgia Public Service Commission.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.