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Ohio Libertarian Party Loses Primary Ballot Access Lawsuit

On May 1, the Sixth Circuit refused to enjoin an Ohio law that requires petitioners to fill out a blank on each petition sheet showing the employer of the circulator. The decision is 29 pages long and acknowledges that this is a severe blow to the party. As a result of the decision, the party won’t have a gubernatorial nominee on the November ballot, and it will thus be removed from the ballot. If the party could have had a gubernatorial candidate on the ballot, and he polled 2%, then the party would be ballot-qualified for the next four years.

The decision acknowledges that the Ohio Libertarian Party was in a tough situation, in regard to gathering 500 signatures of party members on its primary petitions for Governor-Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Because the party didn’t know if it was going to have a primary until it won the last round, it only had a month to complete its primary petitions. And, as the decision notes, that was during a period of very severe winter weather. But, the decision says that there isn’t much evidence that forcing circulators to reveal the names of their employers is really a severe burden on those circulators.

The decision also acknowledges that the requirement that circulators reveal their employer on each petition sheet has only existed since 2004, and had never before been enforced, but says that nevertheless the law was clear.

There is one factual error in the decison; page 20 says Ralph Nader was a “minor party” candidate in 2004, when actually in 2004 he was an independent presidential candidate.

The party expects to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Sixth Circuit. Thanks to Gregg Norris and Steve Linnabary for the link.

6 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    One of these days the courts will stop hearing ANY ballot access cases — due to the MORON lawyers doing such cases.

    1. Separate is NOT equal. Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954

    2. Every election is NEW.

    3. EQUAL ballot access tests for ALL candidates for the same office in the same area.

    Much too difficult for MORON lawyers and judges to understand ???

  2. Joshua H.

    That’s a shame, and there’s almost no chance that the SCOTUS will reverse it; not only does it trend partisan these days, but Republican at that.
    I think the Ohio Libertarians should consider backing the Green Party’s candidate, as a show of protest and to make sure that there’s at least one decent third party candidate on Ohio ballots in future elections. And maybe help prove Ralph Nader correct in his recent statements concerning the possibility of a Libertarian-Progressive alliance.

  3. Richard Winger

    I am more optimistic about the US Supreme Court than Joshua is. The recent McCutcheon decision, written by Chief Justice Roberts, as some good language that is cited in the party’s US Supreme Court brief today.

  4. This decision makes no sense. The employer of the circulator was the circulator! These people are independent contractors. This is just another case of blatant election rigging.

  5. Those in power do not want voices that threaten their positions to be heard. Ralph Nader is right, the Greens and Libertarians and any other Americans whose voices are being frozen out of our democracy really do need to come together in a temporary coalition to address this central problem. I’m trying to gather support for a Protest Party (starting in Ohio) for this very purpose. The idea is to withhold our votes from the two major parties until the problem is solved. Hopefully it will turn out that they still want our votes even if they no longer care about our opinions.

    We are meeting Saturday May 17 in Cleveland to discuss strategy. Until the Protest Party gets on the ballot, I agree that we should probably vote Green in the hopes of reaching 2% for at least one voice of dissent.

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