Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ohio Libertarians being kept off 2016 ballot

Sandusky Register: Libertarians not allowed to file in Ohio - Tom Jackson:

December 23, 2016 - "When last week's filings for office concluded, the candidates included plenty of Democrats and Republicans and a Green Party candidate for the U.S. Senate, Joseph DeMare.

"But the filings didn't include any Libertarian candidates.

"Ohio Libertarian Party spokesman Aaron Keith Harris said the party is still battling in federal court before U.S. District Judge Michael Watson in Columbus to try to overturn state ballot access law in court that made it harder for smaller political parties in Ohio to be recognized. Watson has not issued a final ruling in the case.

"Secretary of State Jon Husted's office advised election boards not to accept Libertarian Party filings for office, Harris said.

"Several would-be Libertarian candidates tried to file, while others were ready but did not go ahead after being told their petitions would not be accepted....

"'We are obviously very disappointed Husted has chosen to enforce a law that is still being challenged in the courts,' Harris said. 'We are frustrated that the court proceedings have taken this long.' If Libertarians lose their court case, "we'll appeal until we can't appeal any more," Harris said.

"Joshua Eck, a spokesman for Husted, said the Libertarian Party currently is not a recognized political party in Ohio.

"To gain recognition, a minor party must collect at least 3 percent of the vote in the most recent race for president or governor in Ohio. Green candidate Anita Rios got 3.3 percent when she ran for governor in 2014, Eck said.

"The Libertarian candidate for governor in 2014, Charlie Earl, was tossed off the ballot....

"Eck said if Libertarians want to be recognized as a political party, they must turn in petitions signed by 1 percent of people who voted in the last presidential or gubernatorial election. At least 500 signatures must be collected in at least half of the state's U.S. House districts, he said."

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