As noted in a previous story, the Libertarian Party is now on the ballot for president in 2016 in thirty states, that is, states where we do not have to petition to get ballot access, as a result of our showing in this month’s election as well as ballot access already retained from prior elections which was not lost.
In IPR and BAN comments, the original story’s author, Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, top election law and election history expert, informs us that this is the best the Libertarian Party has ever done in terms of ballot access retention following a midterm election:
The Libertarian Party is now on the ballot for president in 2016 in thirty states. By contrast, in mid-November 2010, it was on in twenty-seven states.
[T]his is a record for the LP following a midterm year. 2006 was 24. 2002 was 26. 1998 was 27. 1994 was 22. 1990 was 17.
Richard also believes this is the best post-midterm election retention by any party other than Democrats or Republicans in a century:
The Reform Party only had 17 immediately after the Nov. 1998 election. The Green Party only had 19 after the 2002 election. The Progressive Party of Henry Wallace only had 6 after 1950. The Socialist Party had 18 after 1934. So I would say the LP had the best showing since immediately after the 1914 election, when the Progressive, Socialist and Prohibition Parties all had more. 1914 was a fabulous year. Five parties elected members of Congress.
As noted in the original story, the Green and Constitution parties also improved their ballot access retention from four years ago.
Hawaii, Maryland and North Dakota Libertarians retained ballot access for the first time and Libertarians are happy with most ballot measure results from around the country in 2014. The LP had more candidates and better results in races for Governor and US Senate than in 2010 or 2012. The party is also increasing its share of voter registration faster than other national parties, and increasing its pace of growth in voter registration numbers.
In somewhat related news, the national voter turnout this year was the lowest in 72 years, which means that in many states it will be easier to qualify ballot measures for 2016, as well as making it easier for alternative party and independent candidates to qualify for the ballot in many states in 2016.
UPDATE: Richard Winger notes in comments below: Much of the reason for this outcome is that 26 states have made it easier for a party to remain ballot-qualified in the last 30 years: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. We made all this progress not by lawsuits, but by asking state legislators to do this. We are insane, crazy, nuts, if we don’t continue doing this. And now is the time when legislators are deciding which bills to introduce. Many states have strict deadlines for introducing bills.