Christina Tobin

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Christina Tobin
Tobin in 2022
Born (1981-06-17) June 17, 1981 (age 42)[1]
Alma materSaint Mary's University of Minnesota
Occupation(s)Founder and Chair of The Free & Equal Elections Foundation
Political partyIndependent

Christina Tobin (born June 17, 1981) is an American activist and leader in the election reform and voters' rights movements. She is the founder and chair of The Free & Equal Elections Foundation,[3] and president and chief executive officer of Free and Equal, Inc.[4]


Tobin was born in Pasadena, Texas, in 1981. She grew up in Texas and Illinois and graduated from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois. She attended Saint Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota where she served as varsity tennis captain and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. In 2004, she earned a bachelor's degree in graphic design with a minor in business marketing.

Career and activism[edit]

Tobin started her career as a non-partisan ballot access coordinator. An expert in defending signatures and coordinating petition drives, Tobin has helped gather and defend over one million signatures for independents, the Green Party,[5] the Constitution Party, the Republican Party,[6] the Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party[7] and the Socialist Equality Party.

Illinois campaigns[edit]

In the 1998 election for governor of Illinois, Tobin helped defend over 60,000 signatures for her father, Libertarian candidate James Tobin. In 2002, she personally gathered over 5,000 signatures and successfully defended 55,000 signatures for Cal Skinner, who was running for governor, and her father, who was running for lieutenant governor representing the Libertarian Party.[8]

In the 2004 presidential election, Tobin defended 29,000 signatures in Illinois for Ralph Nader when he ran as an independent.[9] She also sued Democratic State Chair Michael Madigan alleging that he used his full-time state employees to have Nader removed from the Illinois ballot.[10]

For the November 2006 election, she successfully defended 39,000 signatures for Rich Whitney, the Green Party candidate for Illinois governor.[11]

Ralph Nader's 2008 presidential campaign[edit]

In 2008, Tobin served as Ralph Nader's national ballot access coordinator.[12] She helped collect more than 500,000 signatures to put Ralph Nader on the District of Columbia ballot and 45 state presidential ballots,[13] more than any other third party or independent candidate. While coordinating the national ballot drive in 50 states, Tobin organized a successful petition drive in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York.

BaliJewel Inc. lawsuit[edit]

In 2008, Tobin filed a lawsuit against John Hardy Limited, alleging harassment of jewelry designers in Bali and improper copyrighting of a Balinese folk motif.[14]

Free & Equal Elections Foundation[edit]

In 2008, Tobin founded the Free & Equal Elections Foundation,[15] a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan grassroots organization, whose mission is to empower American voters through education.

Free and Equal, Inc.[edit]

In March 2009, Tobin founded Free and Equal, Inc., a non-partisan, full-service ballot access consulting and petitioning firm that specializes in independent and third-party candidates. Tobin has helped gather and defend over one million signatures for independents, the Green Party,[5] the Constitution Party, the Republican Party,[6] the Democratic Party, the Libertarian Party[7] and the Socialist Equality Party. Free and Equal, Inc. does not endorse any candidates for office. She serves as president and chief executive officer.

Taxpayers United of America[edit]

In 2011, Tobin served as Vice President of Taxpayers United of America, founded by her father James Tobin. Her work exposed big pension payouts in Illinois and other states.[16]

Activism to Stop the Top Two Primary System[edit]

Tobin is a passionate activist against the top two primary systems. In 2012, she founded Stop Top Two,[17] a movement designed to educate voters of the machinations behind the relatively new electoral trend. Louisiana, Washington and California elections are now controlled via top two primary systems. Arizona's version of a top two primary system, Proposition 121, was defeated by Arizona voters November 2012. The main objective of Tobin's Stop Top Two movement was to defeat the proposition through education, media outreach and panel discussions, including the "Problems with Arizona's Top Two Primary System – Proposition 121" panel presented by the Free & Equal Elections Foundation at the Goldwater Institute on October 9, 2012.[18]


Free & Equal hosts open, all-inclusive gubernatorial, Presidential and senatorial debates, including the 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 Presidential debates moderated by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges,[19] broadcast legend Larry King,[20] Thom Hartmann of Free Speech TV,[21] and Emmy Award winning actor Ed Asner.[22]

Tobin appeared on The Jimmy Dore Show on October 5, 2023 to announce the 2024 Presidential debate series. Dore and Tobin will serve as moderators.

California Secretary of State candidacy[edit]

In 2010, Tobin ran as a Libertarian Party candidate for the California Secretary of State election.[23][24] She formally announced her candidacy for Secretary of State on February 23, 2010.[25] She was the only candidate seeking the Libertarian Party nomination. Richard Winger, editor and publisher of Ballot Access News was her campaign manager.

In the general election, Tobin came in fourth with 214,347 votes, 2.3 percent of the total votes cast.[26]


  1. ^ "JoinCalifornia – Christina Tobin".
  2. ^ a b [user-generated source]
  3. ^ "About « Free And Equal". Archived from the original on 2010-11-06. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  4. ^ "Free & Equal Inc. – Full-Service Ballot Access Consulting and Petitioning Firm". Archived from the original on 2010-11-19. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  5. ^ a b "Daily Herald | Foes try to knock Green Party off ballot in 14th Congressional District". Daily Herald. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Blogger: Aanmelden om te lezen". 4 February 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  7. ^ a b "Challenging Illinois' Ballot Access Laws — Illinois Green Party". Archived from the original on November 19, 2008.
  8. ^ "Huntley School Supt. Burkey Says He Used Vacation Days to Go to China". McHenry County Blog. 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  9. ^ "Nader collects enough signatures for Illinois ballot spot – Rockford, IL – Rockford Register Star". 2008-06-24. Archived from the original on 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  10. ^ Mullman, Jeremy (2004-09-27). "Nader aide sues Madigan | Law | Crain's Chicago Business". Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  11. ^ "Illinois Third Parties Unite to Protest Gov. Blagojevich's Ballot Fraud, Have Proof of Blago's Frivolous Objections — Illinois Green Party". Archived from the original on May 28, 2009.
  12. ^ "Nader/Gonzalez Submit Signatures for Illinois Ballot Line – Ralph Nader for President in 2008". 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  13. ^ "Ballot Access News » Blog Archive » Ralph Nader's Ballot Labels". 25 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  14. ^ "Prominent Bali Jewelry Firm Sued in US". 18 January 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Free & Equal | More Voices, More Choices". Archived from the original on 28 November 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Chicago Teachers Receiving Big Pension Payouts? | On Air Videos | Fox News". May 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Stop Top Two". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Parker Pioneer – – News". 15 October 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  19. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Third Party Presidential Debate (Full Video). YouTube.
  20. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate | 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate | Ora TV. YouTube.
  21. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: 2012 Second Presidential Debate Moderated by Thom Hartmann & Christina Tobin. YouTube.
  22. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: 2016 Presidential Debate Moderated by Ed Asner & Christina Tobin. YouTube.
  23. ^ "Christina Tobin | Libertarian Party". Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  24. ^ "Ballot Access News » Blog Archive » Three Well-Known Election Law Activists Run for California Secretary of State". 6 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  25. ^ "Campaign Kickoff « Christina Tobin For Secretary of State". Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  26. ^ Archived from the original (PDF) on June 11, 2014. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]