Independent American Party seeks access to Utah ballot
Politics • Independent American Party submits petitions to lieutenant governor’s office.
Published: February 14, 2014 07:34PM
Updated: February 15, 2014 09:59PM
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Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Justin Lee (left), deputy director of elections, accepts petitions from Jared Beck, Hal Massey and Wally McCormick, of the Independent American Party, at the lt. governor's office at the State Capitol, Friday, February 14, 2014.

Another political party may appear on Utah’s ballot this year: the Independent American Party.

Party leaders dropped off petitions Friday at the lieutenant governor’s office seeking ballot access. They need 2,000 verified signatures of registered voters to qualify and have submitted more than 4,000. The lieutenant governor’s office is in the process of verifying those signatures.

In Utah, it is relatively easy to get on the ballot, but difficult to remain there. Parties must receive 2 percent of the total votes cast in all the state’s congressional races to stay on the ballot.

In 2012, the Justice, Green and Americans Elect parties qualified for the ballot, but did not receive enough votes to remain. Others currently qualified for the ballot include the Republican, Democrat, Libertarian and Constitution parties.

“We were on the Utah ballot in 2000,” said Jared Beck, a member of the IAP’s national executive committee, who delivered the petition. He said the party also is on the ballot in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico.

He said the party plans to run candidates this year in Utah’s four congressional races and the attorney general’s race “because that’s what we need to do to keep on the ballot.” He said the party may also run candidates in other local offices.

Beck said that in the early 2000s, the IAP had up to 10,000 members in the state — but many have since migrated to other parties. He said the party hopes to lure them back and draw other independent-minded voters.

“We want to involve the creator in the system to restore the basic principles of liberty and freedom. That’s what we’re about,” Beck said. “The other parties are working on expediency and issues, and they have forgotten about the basic principles.”

Hal Massey, state chairman of the party, said, “It is a party of prayer, principle, purpose and patriotism.”