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Ohio Libertarian Candidates Lose Primary Ballot Access Lawsuit

on March 19, U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Watson ruled that the Ohio law requiring paid circulators to identify their employer on each petition sheet is probably constitutional. Therefore there is no basis to restore the statewide Libertarian candidates to the Libertarian Party primary ballot. The party and its statewide candidates have filed a notice of appeal.

The decision does say, “Evidence in the record supports an inference that operatives or supporters of the Ohio Republican Party orchestrated the protest”, but the decision also says that is not relevant to the constitutionality of the disclosure law. The opinion says that the disclosure requirement is necessary to help prevent petitioning fraud, although the opinion also says there is no reason to think any of the petitions in this matter are fraudulent.

4 Responses

  1. Bummer

    So one of the largest LP state affiliates is going to be decertified at some point and cease to be a party in Ohio because somebody forgot to put an employer name on a petition? The LP Ohio group seemed to be growing leaps and bounds and they probably also got the attention of the GOP. Not to mention that a National convention is coming to Ohio in June. Bittersweet. From what I read it could be years before the LP Ohio gets back on the ballot if they use volunteer petitioners. It appears they don’t really have the muscle to get signatures for candidates as it is. They had a good ride for a few years but the party is now over.

  2. Joshua H.

    Shame on the Ohio political Establishment. I bet they don’t subject their own to such scrutiny; the law applies only when it is convenient for it to. I’m not sure if the Libertarians believe in solidarity like Greens do, but I think third parties and anyone interested in free and fair elections need to stick together in situations like these.
    This has been one messed up spectacle; I fear that the Illinois Democratic Party might try something similar in effect to shut down the IL Green Party. They REALLY don’t like us here.

  3. Anyone have a link to the full text of the ruling? I read in one news report that it was 28 pages long.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/in-ohio-ballot-debate-judge-nails-akron-carpenter-as-guiless-dupe

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