August 23, 2016
We did it! Former governor of New Mexico and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has achieved a spot on Minnesota’s ballot, ensuring that Minnesotans will gain another choice for president in November.
LPMN activists submitted an initial 2200 signatures on August 2, of which 1950 have already been validated. An additional 1000 signatures were submitted on August 22. The two submittals bring the total to over 3200, which all but assures Johnson’s placement on the ballot once certification by the Secretary of State is complete.
In Minnesota, 2000 signatures are required for a presidential candidate of any alternative party to appear on the statewide ballot. The deadline for submittals was Tuesday, August 23.
The end of the petition drive culminates a summer-long effort. Public signatures were gathered at numerous outreach events, including Grand Old Day and the Ramsey County Fair in St Paul, Twin Cities Pride and the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis, the McLeod County Fair in Hutchinson, and at Twins baseball games and the recent Metallica concert at the Vikings stadium. Additional signatures came from our statewide affiliates, individuals who drew upon their personal networks of friends and family, and from volunteers who took it upon themselves to go door-knocking. In particular, kudos are deserved for superactivists Marge and Norm Beard, who accounted for over 1000 of the signatures at various events!
Numerous people were shocked to learn that Libertarians must obtain thousands of signatures simply to be on the ballot, especially since the major parties get on the ballot automatically. And as usual, the petition drive was not without tribulations. A minivan ran a red light and collided with the car directly in front of LPMN Chair Chris Dock, flipping the minivan on its side and sending the other car into the oncoming lane where it hit two other vehicles. Mr Dock’s vehicle suffered only a cracked windshield from the flying debris. This happened with the initial batch of petitions in his vehicle as he was delivering them to the Secretary of State.
In 2014, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Chris Holbrook had been arrested by Minneapolis Park Police for the “crime” of collecting petition signatures in a public park. This year there was no such trouble at the same location, and one Park Police officer even remarked, “I like your shirt” to petitioners wearing Gary Johnson for President t-shirts.
We thank everyone who signed the petition or who assisted our efforts to gather signatures at public events. We couldn’t have done it without you!
As evidence of the LPMN’s growing organizational strength, it is notable that no petitioners were brought in from the National LP, nor was anyone hired as a paid petitioner, as had been done in 2008 and 2012. In 2016, all efforts were 100% grassroots and volunteer.
Nationwide, the Libertarian Party is in good shape. Prior to the start of this election cycle, Libertarians already held major party status and automatic ballot access in 30 states, with petitioning required for the other states, including Minnesota. With this latest success, Governor Johnson is now on the ballot in 42 states plus the District of Columbia, so far.
Petitioning efforts continue in the remaining states. The Libertarian Party is on track to be on the ballot in all 50 states, and is likely to be the onlyparty to challenge the Democratic and Republican nominees in every state. This unique claim is due to a herculean effort to get onto the ballot in Oklahoma, which succeeded earlier this year, a state whose petitioning threshold is so draconian that no presidential candidate, other than the Democrat and Republican, had appeared on that state’s ballot since the year 2000.
Gary Johnson’s campaign website is GaryJohnson2016.com.
Concerned about the expansion of government control and the erosion of individual liberty? Please consider joining and becoming active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Libertarians support liberty on all issues, all the time! Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement to promote personal freedom, strong civil liberties, a genuinely free marketplace, and peace.