LITTLE ROCK — Third parties in Arkansas expect a boost at the polls next year from the current budget stalemate in Washington, D.C.

LITTLE ROCK — Third parties in Arkansas expect a boost at the polls next year from the current budget stalemate in Washington, D.C.

First they have to gain access to the state ballot. The head of the Libertarian Party said Monday the party has gathered more than enough signatures to meet the 10,000 threshold required by state law and plans to submit more than 16,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Green Party of Arkansas said the organization would submit 14,000 to 15,000 signatures next week.

With more than 1,000 state employees on furlough Monday and the latest scheduled talks between President Obama and congressional leaders put on hold, state Libertarian Party Chairman Jessica Paxton of Marion said party officials were confident of qualifying for next year’s ballot and planned to field a full slate of candidates.

The party ran 14 candidates in 2012 and one, former Tull Mayor Frank Gilbert, won election as constable of Kalb Township. Paxton said the party foresees running 50 or more candidates in 2014, for offices from governor all the way down to local offices. The libertarian view of smaller government should play well among voters, particularly considering the current gridlock in Washington, he said.

"The government shutdown has shown a lot of people how overreaching the federal government has become. Smaller government, that pretty much sums (the libertarian platform) up," said Paxton, an unsuccessful candidate for the 1st District congressional seat last year. "Do we want to take over? Absolutely, but we want to take over so that we can give you more freedom in your personal and economic life."

Green Party secretary Mark Jenkins said party loyalists have completed canvassing and are readying petitions for submission to the state next week. He said the federal budget stalemate and government shutdown helped in the signature-gathering effort in recent weeks.

"It will definitely help us in the next election," he said. "People are frustrated with politics as normal. An alternative like a third party would be very welcome to a lot of people."

Fred Smith was elected to the state House as a Green Party candidate in 2012 after incumbent Democrat Hudson Hallum resigned his seat and withdrew from the race after pleading guilty to a federal vote fraud charge. No Republican ran for the seat, which Smith — elected as a Democrat in 2010 — had relinquished the year before after being convicted on a theft charge. The conviction was later expunged.