Libertarian Party “clears hurdles for ballot access” in Ohio and New York

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Update 8/18: From a forwarded email sent by an LP activist: ““The final hurdle is verification of 12,000 signatures petitioners have collected. Should 5,000 of those be deemed valid, Gary Johnson will be on the Ohio ballot in November as an independent candidate – independent because Ohio raised its ballot access standards in 2013, causing the Libertarian Party to lose state recognition.” The previous title of the article has been corrected – KL

Press release from the Libertarian Party:

For Immediate Release
August 17, 2016

Libertarian Party clears hurdles for ballot access in Ohio, New York

Alexandria – The Libertarian Party’s candidate for president, Gary Johnson, has cleared more hurdles to be on the ballot in Ohio and New York and is on track for ballot access in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The final step for ballot access in New York was completed when the time frame for specific objections to the petitions turned in by the Libertarian Party of New York ran out.

In Ohio, the Secretary of State raised the question that it might not be legally allowable to substitute Gary Johnson’s name for the “stand-in” candidate filed before he was the party’s official nominee. The final ruling from the Ohio Secretary of State came August 15 in the Party’s favor.

The substitution process had been done several times without incident or question in the past. And, the timelines involved leave little choice but to use stand-in candidates for filing purposes. The filing deadline for independent candidates in Ohio was March 14th. The party’s nominating convention at which the presidential candidate was chosen was May 27. This process is also common in other states with similar filing deadline restraints.

The final hurdle is verification of 12,000 signatures petitioners have collected. Should 5,000 of those be deemed valid, Gary Johnson will be on the Ohio ballot in November as an independent candidate – independent because Ohio raised its ballot access standards in 2013, causing the Libertarian Party to lose state recognition.

LNC Ballot Access Committee Chair Ken Moellman, Jr. is confident this threshold will be reached, stating “I worked closely with LP Ohio volunteers to validate signatures as they came in. We know that we submitted over 6,500 valid signatures. I’m honored to have worked with so many great activists in Ohio who all helped put a great candidate on the ballot in Ohio.”

As of this writing, the Libertarian Party is confirmed for ballot access in 40 states and is on track for all 50 plus the District of Columbia.

7 thoughts on “Libertarian Party “clears hurdles for ballot access” in Ohio and New York

  1. Richard Winger

    The title of this blog post is somewhat misleading. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office hasn’t finished checking the petition yet. However, it is extremely likely it will be determined to have enough good signatures. The announcement might come on Thursday, August 18.

  2. Dave

    Dumb question: If Johnson is listed as an independent on Ohio’s ballot, does his vote there “count” for the nationwide vote total for the LP?

  3. Jim

    Dave – It depends on who’s doing the counting.

    If you’re talking about the electoral college, Johnson had to submit the names of the delegates to the electoral college who will vote for him if he wins the state. That had to happen in every state. Both the party label and nationwide vote totals are irrelevant to the electoral college.

    If you’re talking about the vote totals on the Libertarian Party’s wikipedia page, then yes, they do count ballot lines where the Presidential candidates were listed as “Independent” towards the Libertarian line. But, they do not do the same for any Libertarian Party endorsed US Senate or US Congressional candidate who is listed as “Independent”, as far as I can tell. The Libertarian Party will include them in their own tally, though. Depending on who’s doing the counting, reported vote totals in any given year for the party can vary for US Senate and US Congress by up to 320,000 votes.

    And then you can get into weird cases, like Jacob Hornberger’s 2002 US Senate run. He started out seeking the Libertarian nomination but got into a squabble with the LNC and dropped his bid for it and ran as an Independent while continuing to run an expressly libertarian campaign. Right through the election he professed his dedication to libertarian principles on his web site and made it absolutely clear during his campaign that he was a libertarian, just one without the official nod from the Virginia LP (they didn’t run anyone against him.) The Virginia Libertarian Party does not list Hornberger as one of its former candidates. But, Richard Winger’s Ballot Access News put Hornberger’s votes in the Libertarian column. Being listed as an Independent, wikipedia does not include his vote total in their count. But I did include it (with a note) when I updated lpedia. Take your pick, I guess.

  4. Richard Winger

    The Federal Election Commission publishes an election returns book after each election. The FEC always includes the national totals for each presidential candidate, and doesn’t care if the labels in some states are different than in other states. No one running for President outside the major parties,, who has been on the ballot in at least half the states, has ever had the same ballot label in all the states he or she was on. Johnson will have no label at all in Ohio, not even “independent”. It will be a blank. In Alabama and Tennessee he will have “independent”. Of course it is still conceivable the Libertarian Party will win relief in Ohio from either the 6th circuit or the US Supreme Court so that Johnson could be “Libertarian” in Ohio.

  5. Dave

    Thanks all. I just asked since it’s at least possible Johnson could break 5% this year, and if passing that total came down to Ohio or other states where he’s not listed as LP, I wondered if it could become a major issue the government could use to potentially deny the party the benefits of hitting the milestone.

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