BY AARON WALKER
Independent Candidate For Los Alamos County Council
My name is Aaron Walker and I intend to run for Los Alamos County Council as an Independent. Unlike Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians, this requires me to obtain a specific number of signatures (roughly 205) on a nominating petition form in order to qualify for the ballot in November. This is not an easy task in normal times, and in the age of COVID-19 it has become much harder.
I asked the state government if there were any plans to adjust this number due to COVID-19 and the governor’s “stay at home” order. The short version is that there is no intention to change the requirements for Independents to qualify for the ballot within the state, which are different for each position being sought.
I tried to be reasonable. I tried asking for reasonable accommodations. I tried to highlight the importance and necessity of running for local office. I asked the Secretary of State, Governor’s office, and a state lawmaker. The Secretary of State and the state lawmaker were understanding and sympathetic to the issue, but did not offer a path forward or provide any optimism for adjustments to the signature requirements due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Since the state wishes to ignore Independents and their (lack of) ability to qualify for the ballot this year, I must now resort to tactics I didn’t want to. Am I going to go door-to-door asking for signatures? No, that would be irresponsible of me and I am not willing to impose myself on people that may be staying home for various reasons. I’m also not going to give up and let the election pass without putting up a fight. Running for public office is a cornerstone of our government, and the state won’t keep me from putting 100% of my effort in to getting on the ballot.
Here is what I am going to do: I am giving out an e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) that will allow the members of our community to get in contact with me. If you wish to sign the petition you can e-mail me and I will bring the petition to your house (or wherever you wish), leave it in a folder on your doorstep, and return to pick it up when you are finished. I can also leave a copy on my doorstep in a folder for people to sign as well. Contact me, and I will give you my address and will put out a petition to sign.
Signing my petition does NOT mean you are required to vote for me in the general election. Although I would greatly appreciate the vote, all this does is assist me in getting on the ballot and raise the number of options you have come time for the general election. I will also respond to any questions/concerns that some of you may send as well.
There are two requirements to be able to sign the petition:
- You are registered to vote within Los Alamos County
- You haven’t signed (and won’t sign) more petitions than vacancies for a specific position (3 for county councilor)
In the coming weeks, hopefully as restrictions are relaxed, I will be able to get out more in the community and be slightly more proactive (while respecting peoples wishes and social distancing) in obtaining signatures. I also intend to write regular articles discussing my various views and opinions on the county, and where I think my leadership can take our community.
If you want to know more about me or want more options in the upcoming election for county council, please contact me.