LP News May 2016: Token Tips

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 10.12.39 AMThis article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of LP News.

By Alicia Mattson, LNC Secretary

For those of you who will be first-time delegates to our national convention, we use a “token” procedure that is likely different from what you’ve encountered at a state convention. As you’ll read below, these tokens play very important roles.

When you arrive, check in first at the registration desk and then at the credentials desk, to get your badge and delegate materials. One of the items you will receive at the credentials desk is a packet with seven tokens in it. Treat your tokens like cash. They are valuable and cannot be replaced if lost.

According to LP bylaws, to be nominated for president or vice president, a candidate must have collected the signatures of at least 30 registered delegates. You will receive one token for the presidential nomination and one for the vice-presidential nomination. To help nominate your favorite candidate, fill in all the blanks on your token, including the candidate’s name, your printed name, and your signature, and place it in a designated ballot box. Very important: To protect your intentions, do not hand your signed token to someone else with the candidate’s name left blank — not even to the candidate or the candidate’s volunteer.

The very same presidential signature tokens are used to determine the participants in the presidential candidates debate. To be included in the debate, a candidate must receive tokens equal to at least 10 percent of the number of registered delegates.

Your other five tokens are used for platform plank retention. Essentially, you can use each token to express a desire to delete a particular platform plank. You may cast all five tokens against the same plank, if you wish. On each token, clearly mark one — and only one — plank that you wish to delete, sign the token, and place the tokens in the designated ballot box. For any plank receiving more tokens than 20 percent of the registered delegates, the convention will have a yes–no vote on whether to delete that plank. In theory, as few as 4 percent of delegates could bring a plank to a deletion vote by casting all five of their tokens against that one plank.

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

7 thoughts on “LP News May 2016: Token Tips

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    This is a pretty disgusting attempt to reduce the number of candidates allowed to participate in both the LP’s nomination process and its presidential debate. In fact, it eliminates, AT A MINIMUM, nearly half the declared candidates from the official debate. More than that if one or more campaigns continue to solicit token votes after they know they’ve passed the 10% threshold (IIRC, that is 10% of delegates registered as of the Saturday morning credentials report).

  2. Derrick Michael Reid

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  3. sparkey

    Any predictions for who makes the debates? My guess is that there will be some token hoarding, so maybe 5 candidates per debate or so?

    Presidential debate: Probably Johnson, McAfee, Petersen, Perry, and maybe Feldman and/or Vermin Supreme. McCormick, Robinson, and Sterling are more distant maybes. I don’t see Smith, Reid, Sloan, or any others making it.
    VP debate: Obviously, some Presidential candidates could switch to VP candidates (I think Petersen in particular said maybe to that question.) But barring a slew of late entries, I would expect Bentivolio, Coley, Dearn, and Weiss to all make it.

    (These predictions are, of course, from a casual observer who isn’t planning on attending in person.)

  4. Shawn L.

    Do delegates turn presidential nomination tokens over to the campaigns themselves, or do delegates turn them in at some central point like the plank retention tokens are? I remember the former method being used in the past, but not sure if that’s how it’s continuing.

    If not, then the hoarding question becomes moot. But if that is the method, it gives campaigns an opportunity to say “enough” that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

    As a prerequisite for nomination, 30 isn’t that bad a deal. If you can’t get that many nominators, you aren’t long for the race anyway. 10% as a threshold for the debate seems fine. I suspect we’ll see no less than 4 up on stage. (Johnson, McAfee, Petersen, and Perry), with a few extras getting nominated, but not enough for the debate.

  5. Bondurant

    Johnson, McAfee and Petersen are likely all locks for debate inclusion. I hope undecided delegates use their tokens on other candidates to have a more inclusive and vibrant debate.

    Not a fan of the token system. I would like to think minds stronger than mine could come up with a better system for setting up the convention debate.

  6. Ken Moellman

    For those worried about debate exclusion, there is an unofficial debate happening on Thursday, May 26th in Orlando. All candidates listed on LP.org are invited to participate. Details are posted online here: http://www.mu-net.org/2016_Debate_Format.pdf … Also sponsorships in the program are still available.

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