If voters don’t like Linda McMahon the Republican, they can always vote for Linda McMahon the Independent.

The secretary of the state’s office said that McMahon, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, has submitted sufficient signatures to qualify for a second line on the ballot: She wil be listed under the Independent banner.

McMahon has been downplaying her GOP ties in ads — though she has not gone as far as Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who has praised President Obama in ads — so the Independent tag is something her campaign sees as potentially valuable in Connecticut.

Her Democratic opponent, Chris Murphy, has the same advantage. He was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.

A second ballot line has meant the difference in some elections: Without the votes cast for him on the Working Families line, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy would have lost the 2010 election for governor.

McMahon had to file 7,500 signatures to qualify.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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