Libertarian Party says there is a “petition crisis” in New York and New Hampshire

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The following is an email, titled “petition crisis”, which sent out on July 16th, 2016 by Wes Benedict, the executive director of the Libertarian Party (H/T IPR’s Paulie).

(This email was first published on American Third Party Report with the title “Petition Crisis”: Gary Johnson in danger of not getting on the ballot in New York and New Hampshire):

New Hampshire is in the worst shape, with only 32 signatures in hand and an8/10/2016 deadline. More signatures are rumored to exist, but not many, and we can’t count them till we have them.

We’re running Gary Johnson for President, Max Abramson for Governor, Brian Chabot for U.S. Senator, Robert Lombardo for U.S. Congress District 1, and Richard Tomasso for Executive Council, District 4.

We are competing with independent candidates trying to get on the ballot for governor, and voters can only sign for one candidate. So that’s an added challenge.

We will do whatever it takes to get our candidates on the ballot in New Hampshire. Please help ASAP so it doesn’t cost us a fortune! We need 3,000 valid signatures, so must get around 5,000 to be safe.

I’ve already sent one of our staff, Nick Dunbar to New Hampshire and he’s recruiting petitioners: both volunteer and paid.

We’re sending our affiliate support specialist, Andy Burns, on Tuesday, to recruit people as well (and also to collect signatures himself, of course).

I need more of you that live in New Hampshire to help out. We also need some people to travel to New Hampshire to help (but you’ll have to pay your own expenses – we do not cover hotel, travel, etc.).

>Click here to download the NH petition form.<

Email to get paid or to volunteer, and watch for notes soon from Andy Burns ( They can get you signed up with a contract.

New York has 10,000 signatures in hand so far. We need at least 20,000, but preferably 25,000, so we can be confident we’ll have 15,000 valid signatures. The deadline is 8/2/2016 — that’s only two weeks away! Unlike most other states, only registered New York voters are eligible to collect signatures. Volunteers and professionals should contact Mark Axinn

Please help if you are a New Yorker!

>Click here for the NY petition form & more.<


If you have trouble reaching the people above, feel free to contact Bob Johnston at, or call Bill Redpath on his cell at703-864-2132 (and leave a message), if you are willing to get hired, and they’ll follow up with you as soon as possible. If emailing Bob, please send the following information to Bob:

Mailing address:
Dates available (start date and end date):
States willing to work in:

No advances offered. We don’t cover any expenses. You pay your own gas, travel, hotel, meals, photocopying expenses, postage, etc. Some petitioners team up to save on motel expenses or find housing through Airbnb. Others petition in their home state and avoid housing costs. Others find friends willing to let them crash for free for a few weeks. You have to find your own lodging.

You’ll be an independent contractor. Additional rules and restrictions apply. This is not a contract, but you may be asked to sign one and provide information for a W9.

We recently qualified for the ballot in Illinois, Maine, and Tennessee, and won a lawsuit that greatly reduced the requirements in Pennsylvania, so we expect to be on the ballot in Pennsylvania soon as well.

>>Click here to donate for ballot access.<<

If all these emails about ballot access stress you out, but you aren’t able to help, consider helping elsewhere by ordering some of our brand new beautiful Gary Johnson for President door hangers for 5 cents each.

>>Click here to order the new Gary Johnson door hangers!<<

Please help us today.


26 thoughts on “Libertarian Party says there is a “petition crisis” in New York and New Hampshire

  1. Pingback: Libertarian Party says there is a “petition crisis” in New York and New Hampshire | Untruth

  2. Cody Quirk

    Well, hopefully this article will light a fire under L.P. activists and petition gatherers up there that have been sitting on the sidelines or not doing much so far.

  3. Be Rational

    “1) Connecticut – Katz reports not being happy with where things stand. 5,400 gross; need more staff to finish by the 10th. Need 7,500 valid. Running about 80 percent valid for most signatures. Connecticut is 8 days after New York, so signature gathers will show up from NY for last 8 days.”

    Be very careful with Connecticut.
    You should never count on more than 50% validity in CT. To be safe, you should file at least 15,000 gross for 7,500 valid. Don’t skimp. Better to overkill in CT. If you hire non LP petitioners, you will need more sigs, maybe 16,000 gross to be safe.

    The LP has failed the POTUS ballot drive in CT on several occasions because they filed too few signatures. They counted on a high validity rate that didn’t materialize.


    Likewise, since you’ll be losing sigs because of individuals who sign for more than one candidate for the same office, you should file more than double in NH. Better file 6,000 plus gross for this 3,000 valid requirement.

  4. George Phillies

    Is Andy unwell? We have not seen him appear even once to denounce LNC errors for creating this situation.

  5. Andy

    George, the reason for the crisis in New Hampshire is because the LNC handed a monopoly on 3 states (including New Hampshire) to a non-libertarian mercenary petition coordinator. This was done in a “backroom deal” before the national convention. New Hampshire does not allow candidate substitution, but they could have started gathering signatures there the day after Johnson and Weld were nominated. The reasons it did not start was because the mercenary monopoly middle man was focusing on another state, and then was also hired to get signatures for a higher paying independent candidate, Roque “Rocky” de la Fuente, in New Hampshire, and New Hampshire has a stupid law that says that a New Hampshire voter can only sign a petition for one candidate for each office. Since Rocky is paying more than the LP, the petitioners were only working the Rocky petition. The LNC just ASSUMED that this mercenary coordinator that they handed a monopoly to had people in New Hampshire working on the LP petition, and a good 6 weeks went by before the LNC discovered that no signatures were coming in for the LP in New Hampshire.

    Why is the LNC still doling out monopolies and similar sweetheart deals to coordinators when this mode of operation has Proven to be inefficient and a failure? Why did it take them around 6 weeks to figure out that no signatures were coming in on the LP of NH petition?

    I would never have handed out a deal like that, and I would have been ringing the alarm bell if no signatures were coming in after 1 or 2 weeks.

    So once again, the party has itself to blame for this crisis.

    Petitioners should have been on the ground gathering signatures in New Hampshire back in June, turning in signatures weekly.

  6. George Phillies


    Glad to see that you are not MIA. I am aware of NH law–it is next door. At the LNC meeting yesterday, someone was trying to blame the LPNH for the NH situation, when as you point out the paid petitioners who the LNC thought it had hired apparently were not turning in many signatures.



    “New Hampshire does not allow candidate substitution, ” I’ll bet they could find a way around this if Hillary were to be indicted or Donald have a medical emergency (e.g.removing head from rectum). But if stupid laws like these cause problems in NH or other states, then that’s just one more reason to move the LP convention up a few calendar months so the Party’s candidate is known by late winter.

  8. George Phillies

    Do the nomination the prior Summer. It simplifies travel for large numbers of people.

  9. Jim

    Be Rational –

    In 2012 the CT LP instructed paid petitioners that they would not pay for signatures from certain cities with notoriously low validity rates. It turned in 12,686 signatures and had a large margin of safety. I don’t recall the exact validity rate, but I think it was around 75%, which was much higher than in years past. Josh Katz is running the petition drive in CT right now and he was also involved in it in 2012, so hopefully he gave the same orders. If he’s reporting validity rates of 80%, it sounds like he did.

    What is wrong with New Hampshire that they weren’t asking for weekly or even daily petitioner reports?

  10. Cody Quirk

    Regardless of how they ended up in the situation or whos at fault; they better remedy & correct it quick and get those sigs’.

  11. Andy

    I have never petitioned in Connecticut, but I have petitioned in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, two states that border Connecticut, and which also have the same rule as Connecticut which requires petition pages to be separated by city/town. I never recall there having been any big problems with validity in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, and I am not aware of Connecticut having any big differences in demographics or election laws that would cause the validity on petitions to be lower on average than it is in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Maybe the petitioners in Connecticut in the examples cited above just did not do a good job screening people before they signed, and making sure that people filled out the petition properly.

  12. ATBAFT

    George at 16:35. Summer before is o.k. too but it is not a panacea — it will depend on the candidate chosen.
    As I recall, Marrou was nominated over Labor Day in 1991 and it just gave him more time to chase women on the campaign trail while his actual campaign went to hell.

  13. Jim

    Connecticut turned in 12,010 signatures in 2008 and 7,279 were ruled valid out of the needed 7,500. It had a 60.6% overall validity rate. They turned in 818 Sigs from New Haven, with a 20.7% validity rate. 1,509 from New Britain, with a 42.1% validity rate. 995 from Middletown, with a 51.4% validity rate. 1,526 from Stamford, with a 46.5% validity rate.

    OTOH, they got 955 in Waterbury with a 75.7% validity rate. 375 from Waterford with a 78.4% validity rate. 312 from New London with a 78.8% validity rate. 612 from Meriden with a 77.0% validity rate. And numerous other towns with 100 – 300 sigs and a 70% – 80%+ validity rate.

    Those low validity rate areas are all mixed income large towns/small cities and most have colleges with thousands or tens of thousands of students. Were they getting a lot of sigs from lower income people who weren’t registered to vote? Were they getting sigs from college students who were registered to vote in different towns? Don’t know, doesn’t matter. The order went out in 2012 to avoid those towns (and a few others), they improved their validity rate by about 15% in 2012, got only a few more signatures (12,686 vs 12,010), and passed the 7,500 needed with around 2,000 to spare instead of falling 221 short.

  14. Andy

    Yeah, but is this the fault of the people in those cities/towns, or was it the fault of the petition circulators for not doing a good job of screening people, and making sure that they filled out the petition properly, or was it a combination of both?

  15. Andy

    I have gotten good validity at many colleges, and in many large cities with lots of apartment dwellers.

  16. Jim

    The one time I tried going to a college (in New Haven) it was full of freshman doing orientation and moving in to dorms. Almost all of them were underage. I got a couple of professors and left. It was a waste of time. The new semester, when older students show up, doesn’t start until after the deadline.

    I don’t know what the issue was with the low validity rates in those towns in 2008. I wasn’t involved then. I only saw the quantitative analysis of 2008 when working on the petition drive for 2012. Whatever the issue was, avoiding those towns worked.

  17. Andy

    Some colleges can be better than others. I have done very well at some colleges, but there have been a few that were not that good. Generally speaking, I usually do well at colleges.

  18. Jim

    I was hoping to do well at colleges. But the petitioning deadline is 2-3 weeks before classes begin and nearly all of the students on campus when I went were 17 years old.

  19. George Phillies

    Massachusetts has traditionally had a list of black holes where you should not petition. If you have someone who screens hard enough, validity rates in some of those places can be high, but that is a waste of effort.

    Was anyone actually in contact with LPNH about ballot access?

  20. George Whitfield

    I sent a donation to help Libertarian Party ballot access in New Hampshire and New York.

  21. Be Rational

    July 18, 2016 at 21:26
    “Connecticut turned in 12,010 signatures in 2008 and 7,279 were ruled valid out of the needed 7,500. It had a 60.6% overall validity rate. They turned in 818 Sigs from New Haven, with a 20.7% validity rate. 1,509 from New Britain, with a 42.1% validity rate. 995 from Middletown, with a 51.4% validity rate. 1,526 from Stamford, with a 46.5% validity rate.”

    They got lucky in 2012.

    Some of the locations above with low validity have reported higher validity in other years. Hartford has come in with under 1/3 validity in the past.

    Sometimes the local clerks will apply easier or harder standards based on their own interpretation of the law or feeling about the candidate or party.

    You should NOT be counting on that 80% you think you have. Plan on 50% and be safe. Better to buy a few thousand extra signatures than to miss the ballot – especially this year when CT could be the only state that fails. It would be a shame to miss by one state at this point.

  22. Jim

    Hartford was another one of the places off limits to paid petitioners in 2012. I didn’t give the full list of either towns to avoid or towns to target.

    I don’t agree that 2012 was luck. They were asking for daily reports from petitioners to track progress, had weekly turn-ins, had a couple of people checking validity rate samples as they went along, and were consciously avoiding towns with historically low validity rates. A deliberate effort was made to improve upon the returns from 2008, and it was successful. It appears as if those same practices are being employed in 2016, given the validity rate of around 80%.

    If the validity rate slips back to 75%, they’ll need another 5,000 sigs. That’s plausible. If the overall validity rate falls all the way to the abysmal 2008 levels of 60.6%, they’ll need another 7,000 (which would imply a validity rate of only 45.6% on that 7,000.) Assuming another 10,600 sigs are needed to hit your 16,000 target because of a 50% overall validity rate implies a validity rate on that 10,600 sigs of only 34.7%.

    If Connecticut needs 10,000 more sigs, Johnson won’t be on the ballot there, because that’s not happening.

  23. Be Rational

    In 2008 the LP would have been on in CT if they had filed 15,000.
    In 1984 the Bergland Campaign would been on in CT if they had filed 15,000.

    Yes, you got lucky and your validity held up in 2012.

    Are you willing to gamble this year? Sure you have a party test of validity, but until the town clerks have done an actual check, you can’t be certain.

    In Maine, you can file as you petition – day by day if you want to – to have the signatures checked in key cities. The town clerks actually prefer that you do this, since filing early as you go makes their job easier. They will go out of their way to find and approve every valid signature. You can be absolutely sure of your numbers and since you have to file validated signatures with the state, you can control the totals. And in ME I’ve seen 91% and 92% validity – so high rates are possible.

    Can you get early verification of signatures in CT by the town clerks?

    When doing your own validity tests, you can’t be absolutetly certain of maintaining such high validity rates when the actual verification takes place. You need a significant margin for error. As we get closer to success in 50 states, the value of any lost state becomes higher, and the value of insurance signatures increases.

    NH requires an even higher safety margin since a significant number may be lost due to the on petition per signer rule. They should count on less than 50% valid at this point.

  24. Mark Axinn

    George Whitfield wrote:
    >I sent a donation to help Libertarian Party ballot access in New Hampshire and New York.

    Thank you very much.

    Cody wrote:
    >Well, hopefully this article will light a fire under L.P. activists and petition gatherers up there that have been sitting on the sidelines or not doing much so far.

    It has! We got too slow a start In New York, caused in part because the petitioning period changed on us this year, but we have many people petitioning now.

    BTW, although not asked, we have approx. 20 different paid petitioners (no exclusive contracts here!) in addition to many more volunteers. But even more troops on the ground are essential and we only have eleven days left to gather, so if anyone reading this is enrolled to vote in New York and wants to help, please contact me at

  25. Mark Axinn

    New York update:

    As was the case four years ago, we are on track to file over 25,000 petition signatures this year for Gary Johnson and other Libertarian Party candidates.

  26. Jim

    A post on Reddit from a New Hampshire petitioner says they hit 3,000 on the 25th. It looks like they’re getting over 300 per day, so they keep up that pace they’ll hit the 5,000 – 5,500 target.

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