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Libertarian Party: Summary of Executive Committee Meeting 6/15/16 on New York and Washington DC Ballot Access (additional states discussed)


New York

There was an error in the conference call program in which it did not connect this IPR editor to the call until after it was underway. I was able to connect at the time the below Motion was called as follows:

Move that $25,000 in LNC funds be encumbered to the Libertarian Party of New York to obtain ballot access.

This was passed 7-0.

Washington DC

Dr. Lark moved to encumber $25,000 for a petition drive in Washington DC to put the Presidential ticket on the ballot for November. Hagan seconded. Dr.Lark then amended his Motion to the figure of $20,000. Hagan seconded.

Dr. Lark stated that about 4,400 signatures are needed with a 7,000 gross target. DC would be able to obtain 1,000 volunteer signatures. John LaBeaume (acting Vice Chair for the Libertarian Party of Washington DC and longtime Libertarian activist) spoke to the importance of having our candidates on the DC ballot for credibility, fundraising, and possibilities for victories in some down-ticket races. Mattson asked where this dollar figure came from at this point as it would be about $4 a signature. Dr. Lark stated that it is his goal to keep this at about $3 a gross signature so that the drive could be done for less than $20,000.00. This drive would start this coming Friday through August 10, 2016.

LaBeaume stated that he has a PAC (DCPAC) that he will use in order to fundraise to contribute as much as they can towards this drive.

This was passed 7-0.

Rhode Island

Dr. Lark requested a future encumbrance of $2,500 be considered for Rhode Island as this is the last state to deal with for which there has been no encumbrance. The Libertarian Party of Rhode Island has not made any commitment yet to this goal. The petition dates would be June 29, 2016 through September 9, 2016. This is something that is entirely doable by the State Party and it was felt that doing an encumbrance now would discourage the State Party from taking care of this on their own, and there is plenty of time to decide this later. Dr. Lark will speak with the Rhode Island Party to encourage them to start on their petitioning and be able to give a status or request by the July LNC meeting.


It was not felt that the Illinois encumbrance needed to be increased at this point as the Johnson Campaign seems willing and able to pick it up where the previous $50,000 left off up to $25,000. Wes Benedict felt that the total cost will end up being around $60,000. Sarwark reported that he spent four hours on the phone with everyone involved in the Illinois drive and feels that we can meet the target without raising the amount paid per signature though this is somewhat of a gut gamble. They are trying to spin up to about 1,500 signatures per day.


Gross target is being moved down from 36,000 to 34,000, and there are almost 11,000 in hand at this time. Additionally petitioning teams are moving into place when Illinois wraps up. So far, things are on target. The Pennsylvania deadline is five weeks after the Illinois deadline. Andy Jacobs said that the amount in hand is actually about 15,000.


  1. Andy Andy June 17, 2016

    The best thing that Weld could do for the campaign is to be a paper candidate. He should stay home for the rest of the election and not do any interviews, and not post anything online. Oh, and he should also cut a big donation check out of his own pocket to the LP of NY, as he owes it to them for screwing them over 10 years ago.

  2. Mark Axinn Mark Axinn June 16, 2016

    You are quite right.

    So far there has been total radio silence from Weld.

    Quel surprise!

  3. natural born citizen natural born citizen June 16, 2016

    Bill Weld should find a way to steer some of that Bu$hPAC cash to LPNY. He owes them.

  4. Andy Andy June 16, 2016

    Another factor that works in the favor of the LP of NY is the weather. The petitioning period for minor party and independent candidates in New York is in the summer, which tends to be pretty nice in New York. Contrast this with a state like Alabama, where it can get extremely hot and uncomfortable in the summer.

  5. Andy Andy June 16, 2016

    Great job on filing that lawsuit, Mark, and everyone else in the LP of NY. If you need anyone else to provide a deposition or do anything else, let me know, and I would be happy to help.

  6. Mark Axinn Mark Axinn June 16, 2016

    Andy is correct on all counts.

    That said, we have had a great volunteer effort here in the past, and will do so this year as well.

    BTW, on a related topic, we finally got around to filing a federal lawsuit to challenge the prohibition on out-of-state circulators. Hearing date on our motion for a preliminary injunction is July 11.

  7. Andy Andy June 16, 2016

    Mark, that is great that you have so many volunteers in New York who produce signatures, but there are several factors to consider before putting down Libertarian in other states, such as:

    1) New York is a very high population state (ranked #4), with a low signature requirement compared to a lot of other states.

    2) New York is relatively small geographically, which means that it is more densely populated than a lot of other sstates.

    3) There are more places that have lots of public foot traffic than most other states, which means that petition circulators have more places to stand where they are not likely to get kicked out (by police, security guards, or venue managers), and even if a petitioner does get kicked out of a location, it is easier to quickly find another location in New York as compared to a lot of other states.

    4) The petition forms are easier to work with in New York compared to a lot of other states, like Pennsylvania where there are 67 counties, eachof which requires a separate petition page, or Connecticut where every city and town in the state has to be on a separate page, or New Hampshire, where you can only get one signature per petition page.

    5) Given that New York has easier ballot access requirements than a lot of other states, the LP of NY has been able to run more candidates than lot of other states, and has been able to run candidates in midterm elections, whereas some states with more difficult ballot access requirements are not able to run candidates in midterm elections, because they are less likely to get help from the LNC for midterm elections. This situation has made it possible for the LP of NY to build up a volunteer base, which is more difficult to do in some other states that have more difficult conditions than New York.

    I say all of this as a person who has worked on ballot access drives in 33 states, including New York (I worked on a petition drive for an independent candidate in New York a few years ago).

  8. Mark Axinn Mark Axinn June 16, 2016

    I can fill in blanks on New York.

    We need to obtain 15,000 valid signatures from enrolled voters during the six weeks starting next Tuesday, June 21. We will volunteers on the ground from 7:30 am that day until we file on August 2.

    The LPNY will have significant skin in the game. We have raised over $10,000 beyond the LNC encumbrance to pay other petitioners, and also intend to submit at least 10,000 volunteer signatures. Unlike some other states, our volunteers truly produce: Our Chair, Mark Glogowski, got over 2000 by himself two years ago!

    We intend to file 30,000 raw sigs. (twice the legally required amount) on August 1 or 2. The LNC encumbrance, for which we are most grateful, will cover approx. 1/3 of the sigs. and we will do the other 2/3 with local paid petitioners and volunteers.

    I speak for the entire LPNY State Committee and membership in expressing our gratitude to the LNC for its continuing support for efforts.

    And Sam is correct: Bill Redpath made the motions for New York, DC and RI last night. I believe Dr. Lark and Sam seconded them.

  9. Jim F Jim F June 16, 2016

    +1 Sam Goldstein

  10. Sam Goldstein Sam Goldstein June 16, 2016

    Most of the references in this article to Dr James Lark should actually be attributed to Bill Redpath. Sometimes quickness should be sacrificed for accuracy!

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