Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ohio Libertarians' 2015 ballot access in legal limbo

Ohio Libertarians face quagmire in seeking state, local ballot access - Ann Sanner, Bucyrus Telegraph Forum:

March 11, 2015 - "Libertarian candidates seeking some local offices in Ohio face uncertain access to the ballot this year as they await a judge's decision over new rules for minor political parties.

"At issue is a 2013 state law that imposes stiffer criteria for minor political parties to reach and maintain their party's label on ballots in the perennial swing state....

"Libertarians and third-party allies including the Green Party challenged the new rules in federal court, contending that they placed hurdles before candidates who already were actively seeking to make the 2014 ballot.

"Last year, Judge Michael Watson issued an order temporarily barring the law from being applied while he decides [the] case.

"But the pending court ruling has created a quagmire for some Libertarian candidates this year as a May primary approaches.

"Election boards in Tuscarawas and Guernsey counties recently declined to certify candidate petitions of two Libertarians. The boards said they had been told by the office of the state's elections chief that the Libertarian Party did not meet the minimum minor party qualifications in 2014.

"Libertarians accuse Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted of violating the judge's order that blocks him from applying the law....

"At least one Libertarian candidate was certified in Hamilton County last month and is expected to appear on fall ballots. Jerald Robertson, mayor of Elmwood Place, successfully filed his petitions to seek re-election, the county's board of the elections said. He won't appear on May primary ballots because he is unopposed.

"Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the office has not directed boards to accept or reject candidate petitions."

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