Libertarian and Green Parties Gain Qualified Status in Some States

reposted from Ballot Access News by permission of Richard Winger

In certain states, the Libertarian Party, or the Green Party, gained qualified status (relative to the day before the November 2016 election):

Connecticut: both parties gained qualified status for President, by polling over 1% for President. The Libertarian Party had never before done that, and the Green Party had not done it since 2000.

District of Columbia: the Libertarian Party gained qualified status with its vote for Delegate to the U.S. House.

Iowa: the Libertarian Party became ballot-qualified for the first time, by polling over 2% for President.

Kentucky: the Libertarian Party became ballot-qualified for the first time, by polling over 2% for President.

Massachusetts: the Libertarian Party became ballot-qualified for the first time since the period 2008-2010. It did this by polling over 3% for President.

Missouri: the Green Party became ballot-qualified for the first time since 2000-2002.

New Hampshire: the Libertarian Party became ballot-qualified for the first time since the period 1990-1996, by polling over 4% for Governor.

New Mexico: the Libertarian Party became entitled to its own primary for the first time ever. This will make it far easier for the party to run candidates for congress, state legislature, and partisan county office.

Oklahoma: the Libertarian Party, for the first time, met the vote test to remain on, 2.5% for President.

Pennsylvania: both the Libertarian and Green Parties gained the slightly-useful category of “political party”, although that status does not put a party on the ballot. It restores the parties to the voter registration form and lets them nominate candidates in special elections with no petition. But they aren’t really on the ballot for all office unless they have registration of 15% of the state total.

The Green Party lost its ballot status in Texas.

Source: http://ballot-access.org/2016/11/08/libertarian-and-green-parties-gain-qualified-status-in-some-states/

12 thoughts on “Libertarian and Green Parties Gain Qualified Status in Some States

  1. D. Thomas

    Except for the Green Party losing ballot status in Ohio and Texas, this is all great news! Feeling hopeful for the future!

  2. Richard Winger

    The Green Party did not lose status in Ohio. My original post was wrong. I have corrected it. I hope it gets corrected here also. Ohio law lets a party that got over 2% for Governor continue to be on for 4 years, not just 2 years. But in 2018 the Greens will need to get 3% for Governor.

  3. Bondurant

    Despite hopes for a stronger showing from the LP, this is still great news for the LP & GP. It will save much needed funds for both parties.

  4. Be Rational

    Let’s hope the LP in Massachusetts has the guts to actually take advantage of its ballot status. It is NOT hard to collect the signatures as a Libertarian and it has the beneficial effect of requiring the LP to do what it should be doing anyway – enrolling new members, reaching out to registered libertarians and independents when running campaigns, organizing independent groups in every county, doing constant outreach at every major public event in every county and FINALLY becoming a serious party.

    Running under alternate banners such as “Liberty” or “Freedom” is lazy, not clever. It provides proof for naysayers that the MA LP candidates are gadflies, not worthy of coverage or consideration.

  5. paulie

    It is NOT hard to collect the signatures as a Libertarian

    It’s certainly not easy. They have to be collected while the weather sucks, and people registered to vote with other parties can’t sign (or alternatively, can’t be counted when they do). The number of signatures to qualify for the mandatory primary is the same as an unqualified party needs for the general election, but the general election petition is in nicer weather and all registered Mass voters can sign and be counted as valid.

    requiring the LP to do what it should be doing anyway – enrolling new members, reaching out to registered libertarians and independents when running campaigns

    It’s possible, but not likely. More likely they will just run with a different label, since it’s easier.

    organizing independent groups in every county, doing constant outreach at every major public event in every county

    I’m sure you remember, but they don’t do much of anything by county up there. Everything is by town. About the only thing the counties do is run county jails. I can’t think of any other function they have in Mass. That and being lines on a map.

    Running under alternate banners such as “Liberty” or “Freedom” is lazy, not clever. It provides proof for naysayers that the MA LP candidates are gadflies, not worthy of coverage or consideration.

    Joe Kennedy was covered by the media as a “Libertarian” even though his ballot label was Liberty. He got tons of coverage.

  6. George Phillies

    “requiring the LP to do what it should be doing anyway – enrolling new members, reaching out to registered libertarians and independents when running campaigns’

    Be Irrational doesn’t know what he is talking about. The things he is saying the state Association should do are things that were already being done…well, except that the new state committee in early October shut down the “vote libertarian” advertising campaign, without spending the funds that had been raised specifically for the purpose, and without reimbursing me for rather over a thousand dollars in ad costs.

  7. Be Rational

    George Phillies
    November 9, 2016 at 00:46

    “… Needed MA voter registration is 43,000+ at last report. Fortunately we are not currently moving in that direction. ….” George

    *

    You see how George is happy and thinks it’s “fortunate” that the LP is remaining small in MA and not moving toward 43,000 registered voters. He has no idea how to organize a political party nor how to win elections at any level. He doesn’t want the LP to get big or succeed – might end the fun of the political club.

  8. George Phillies

    Be Rational is dangerous and wrong. I do want a larger party, namely one that elects more candidates and has more donors and volunteers. He wants a party with more government-bestowed shiny baubles.

  9. Be Rational

    “It is NOT hard to collect the signatures as a Libertarian.”

    That’s correct. It’s not hard at all. You might do best by going door to door with voter lists. The candidate and his or her campaign team can get the sigs of registered Libertarians and encourage them to help, donate, participate actively etc. Get sigs from independents and do the same, gauge their interest, begin building a GOTV database which you need for a real campaign. Assist unregistered potential voters with registration and earn their support, perhaps gain registrations. You can either attempt to re-register Ds and Rs or use the voter lists to bypass them. This is a great project for the county groups.

    When the Maine LP had ballot status, ONLY registered Libertarians could sign their petitions – and there were almost none since it had only been possible for a short while. The serious candidates went door to door in their districts and converted enough registered voters to get on the ballot and found campaign supporters on the way.

    “…requiring the LP to do what it should be doing anyway – enrolling new members, reaching out to registered libertarians and independents when running campaigns…”

    Paulie: “More likely they will just run with a different label, since …” they’re lazy and have no clue how to build the LP or win elections.

    “…organizing independent groups in every county, doing constant outreach at every major public event in every county…”

    That’s right. The fact that they don’t have much county government is irrelevant, but it will make the LP county groups more effective in MA. The purpose and necessity of the county groups is to build the state LP. Imagine how big and successful the National LP would be with no state LP groups. How would they run a 50 state campaign, get on the ballot etc?

    Every state LP needs to organize a stand alone, independent group for every county in their state (except a handful of very tiny counties by population, under 1,000 people or so). The county groups will organize and reach out to people at county based events everywhere in the state doing far more activity and buliding the party far beyond what a centralized state LP committee would even be able to find, let alone reach.

    City and Town groups cannnot substitute for this. There are far too many areas to cover and the state map winds up with gaping holes with no coverage. The state LP cannot organize all the cities and towns. The country groups, however, can eventually do that too.

    This requires WORK, effort, and understanding how to build an organization. Something lacking throughout most of the LP and especially in MA.

    “Running under alternate banners such as “Liberty” or “Freedom” is lazy, not clever. It provides proof for naysayers that the MA LP candidates are gadflies, not worthy of coverage or consideration.”

    That’s correct. The MA LP has generally not lived up to its potential.

    Paulie: “Joe Kennedy was covered by the media as a “Libertarian” even though his ballot label was Liberty. He got tons of coverage.”

    He would have gotten far more coverage and far more votes IF the MA LP had organized its county groups, vastly increased its enrolled voter numbers, maintained real ballot status year after year and had the wisdom and fortitude to do the hard work and build a real party in one of the EASIEST states for the LP to organize and win.

  10. Be Rational

    George thinks it would be dangerous to actually organize and build the LP in MA and other states, which is true:

    * It would be dangerous to incompetent leaders at the state level. The county leaders would learn to build the party and seek to replace any deadwood in the state leadership that was standing in the way. GP would shunted aside and his lifelong, wrongheaded, damaging negativism and incompetent leadership excoriated.

    * It would be dangerous to the duopoly as the LP would finally become a real political force and would quickly displace the weaker of the two parties in each county, eventually in the whole state, and thereafter, if every state LP would get busy building county groups, the whole country. We have to build from the county up.

    State LPs without county groups cannot win, just as the National LP without state groups can never win.

  11. Richard Winger

    If we win the pending Arizona lawsuit (and I think we will) that will be a good precedent for Massachusetts that it is unconstitutional for a state to require a huge percentage of minor party registered voters to sign to get its members on the party’s own primary ballot.

    But even if we can’t win against the Massachusetts law in court, Massachusetts has the nation’s easiest initiative procedure. We made a huge improvement in Massachusetts ballot access laws in 1990 with our initiative, for which David Hudson deserves the most credit. We could do it again. And one would think the United Independent Party and its wealthy founder, Evan Falchuk, would help. The United Independent Party suffered terrible from the Massachuestts primary ballot access laws this year. Now that Common Cause has singled out Massachuetts for its low number of candidates, maybe Common Cause would help also.

  12. Richard Winger

    I should have put in my post that the Maryland Green Party met the vote test, for the first time in a decade.

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