Candidates in New York will have a second bite at the apple if they don't secure major- or minor-party lines.
They've always been able to get what's called an independent line, but in years past, they had to get the signatures for the independent line before party primaries or candidate designations.
This time, it's the other way around — after the constituted parties have made their decisions, candidates who are turned away can get a line of their own making.
An independent line is not the same thing as the Independence Party, mind you. Think of the Taxpayers Party, for example. If you get the right number of signatures — in the case for congressional races, it's 3,500 — you can get on a party line that you make up. In Western New York, Jack Davis ran on a so-called "Tea Party" line in last year's special for NY26. The Rent Is Too Damn High is another instance of this tactic.
Major-party primaries for Congress will take place on June 26. The first day to start circulating independent petitions is July 10.
Independent lines, which were once used as an insurance policy for local races, could instead turn into a lifeline for candidates who can't crack primaries or third-party nominating processes.