MARSHALL (KMHL) – One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the effect it is having on the ability of third party candidates to get on the November election ballot.

Third party candidates say they have not been able to door knock and introduce themselves to voters with the pandemic and stay at home orders in place.

They say that door knocking is important to them, because they have to collect signatures in order to get on the November ballot. For that reason, third party candidates would like to get placed on the ballot the same way candidates from major parties do – by paying the filing fee.

“People in my district, very few of them know who I am, because we haven’t had the opportunity to get out there,” said Joshua Prine who is seeking the endorsement from the Independence-Alliance Party in Senate District 16.

Prine points out that 44 percent of voters claim to be independents – and he notes that they want more choices than Democrat and Republican at the ballot box.

Candidates say though they will have a tough time gathering signatures with the pandemic underway. Some in the legislature are proposing to allow them to use E-signatures. But many candidates think that will still be quite difficult.

“How are we going to do e-signatures when people don’t even know who we are,” said Chad Enstad, who is running as a member of the Veteran’s Party in the Seventh Congressional District. ”

Prine added that whether it’s electronic signature or ballot signature it’s still the same problem. He says people are going to want to know “who are you and what do you want.”