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Landscape photo of Indiana's Statehouse, with each government center on opposing sides.

STATEWIDE — It’s a case that could change the way you vote, if the lawsuit goes all the way.

A lawsuit from the Libertarian and Green parties, claiming the state’s requirements for getting ballot access is keeping them out of the game, has been allowed to proceed.

“This challenge was put up by the Libertarian and Green parties in part questioning what they see as a violation of their first and fourteenth amendment rights,” says Dr. Laura Wilson, political science professor at the University of Indianapolis.

The Secretary of State’s office asked for the suit to be dismissed, but the judge ruled in favor of the parties. The judge says the lawsuit needs a “fact-intensive” review. Currently, any party getting 2% of the vote in the Secretary of State’s race is guaranteed general election ballot placement, and 10% for primary election ballot access.

Those percentages, established decades ago and upheld until now, create a barrier to entry for third parties. The lawsuit claims that Democrats and Republicans have manipulated the ballot system in a way that restricts voter options.

“For any third party, you really have to work hard to just get your candidate’s name on the ballot with your party label. And this [lawsuit] isn’t with the expectation of necessarily winning an election, but just to be able to compete at the same level as the Democratic or Republican party,” says Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson says it all comes down to opportunity and option. It’s opportunities for new third parties, and it creates options for you. If you’re tired of Rs and/or Ds, maybe you want option number three.