Richard Winger

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Richard Lee Winger
Born (1943-08-27) 27 August 1943 (age 80)
Alma materUC Berkeley College of Natural Resources
University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation(s)Political activist and analyst
SpouseJarrold Kunz[1]

Richard Lee Winger (born August 27, 1943) is an American political activist and analyst. He is the publisher and editor emeritus of Ballot Access News. He sits on the editorial board of the Election Law Journal. Winger publishes analysis, statistics and legal information and supports expanded access to the ballot for minor parties.[2][3][4][5][6]


Winger is widely regarded as an expert on ballot access and election law,[7][8][9][10] as well as on the topic of third-party politics in the United States.[11] Though not an attorney, Winger periodically testifies in court cases and legislative hearings and is a source for both the media and political organizers.[12][13][14][15] He has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Journal of Election Law, the Fordham Urban Law Review, American Review of Politics, California Journal and other publications.[16] He has appeared as a commentator on ballot access on NBC, ABC, CNN, and NPR.[16] Since 1985 Winger has published Ballot Access News,[17] [18] a monthly newsletter covering developments in ballot access law and among American minor parties generally.[3][19]

On June 1, 2023, Winger announced his retirement from Ballot Access News. He continues to write on the website.[20]


A lifelong Californian, Richard Winger graduated from the University of California, Berkeley as a Political Science major in 1966,[12] and attended Graduate School in Political Science at UCLA.

Coalition on Free and Open Elections[edit]

In 1985 Winger co-founded, along with several minor party representatives, the Coalition on Free and Open Elections (COFOE).[4] The group attempts to co-ordinate action and provide mutual support among the various minor parties for efforts to liberalize and reform ballot access laws.


Winger has been a member of the Libertarian Party for several years.[21]

Winger has made one run for public office, a 1986 campaign for Secretary of State of California on the Libertarian ballot line. As he was running for the office charged with the administration of elections, the campaign was styled as being nonpartisan, intended to represent the interests of all minor parties. Winger finished fourth among five candidates with 1.5% of the vote.[22]


  1. ^ "Jarrold Kunz Obituary (1933 - 2023) - San Francisco, CA - San Francisco Chronicle".
  2. ^ "D.C. Mayor Williams and national ballot access problem". The New York Beacon. August 28, 2002. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  3. ^ a b LeBlanc, Steve (November 4, 2002). "Third Parties Hope to Raise Profile". Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 31, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Sileo, Chi Chi; Leiter, Lisa (September 11, 1995). "Ballot access on the '96 ticket. (third parties want a chance)". Insight on the News. Archived from the original on January 27, 2020.
  5. ^ Persinos, John F. (September 1, 1995). "Third party rising? (potential for a third party in the US)". Campaigns & Elections. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  6. ^ Rudin, Ken (November 1, 2006). "Who's On Third? Those 'Other' Candidates". NPR. Retrieved April 24, 2012. Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, who follows this stuff more thoroughly than anyone else, notes that every state holding partisan statewide races this year has minor-party or independent candidates except for Alabama, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Pennsylvania....
  7. ^ Lowi, Theodore J.; Romance, Joseph (1998) A Republic of Parties?: Debating the Two-Party System. Rowman & Littlefield. 1998. p. 18. ISBN 9780847686094.
  8. ^ Roth, Robert (1999). A Reason to Vote. Macmillan. pp. 10, 22–24]. ISBN 9780312243166.
  9. ^ Richardson, Darcy G. (2004). Others: Third Party Politics from the Nation's Founding to the Rise and Fall of the Greenback-Labor Party, Volume 1. iUniverse. p. x. ISBN 9780595317233.
  10. ^ Doyle, Randall Jordan (2005). America and Australia: Writings and Observations from the 'Empire' and 'Van Diemen's Land'. University Press of America. p. 26. ISBN 9780761832720.
  11. ^ Scher, Bill (April 19, 2020). "Will the Pandemic Keep Third Parties Off the 2020 Ballot?". Politico. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Ford, Marcia (2008). We the Purple: Faith, Politics, and the Independent Voter. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. pp. 30–31. ISBN 9781414317175. Retrieved May 8, 2013. Richard Winger.
  13. ^ "Ballot Access: Restriction on Democracy?". Kansas City infoZine. July 20, 2004. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  14. ^ "Libertarians sue for ballot access". Independent Weekly. October 5, 2005. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  15. ^ Wood, Daniel B. (September 7, 2010). "Californians debate debates: Who gets to participate?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  16. ^ a b Mattson, Kevin; Hayduk, Kevin (2002). Democracy's moment: reforming the American political system for the 21st century. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 271. ISBN 9780742517509. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  17. ^ Cain, Andrew (January 1, 2012). "How did Virginia's ballot access get so strict?". Richmond Times-Dispatch. WSLS-TV. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  18. ^ "Dump the petitions, lower the bar". Chicago Tribune. May 4, 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  19. ^ Fairbank, Katie (October 25, 1996). "A vote for 3rd party movement". The Madison Courier. Associated Press. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  20. ^ "Personnel Change for Ballot Access News | Ballot Access News". 2023-06-01. Retrieved 2023-08-13.
  21. ^ Levin, Ross (May 11, 2010). "Listen to Richard Winger and Abel Moldonado debate Prop 14". Independent Political Report. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  22. ^ Join California:Election History for the State of California/Elections 1986-11- - 1995,

External links[edit]