Wednesday, June 14, 2017

15,000 sign to put AR Libertarians on 2018 ballot

Libertarian Party turns in petitions to get on '18 ballot - Brian Fanney, Arkansas Online:

June 13, 2017 - "The Libertarian Party of Arkansas delivered more than 15,000 signatures to Secretary of State Mark Martin's office Monday to once again become a 'new political party.'

"In a news release, the party said this is the fourth consecutive election cycle in which it has registered as a new party.... Arkansas Libertarian Party Chairman Michael Pakko is asking for a change.

"'Libertarians are giving the voters a choice in races up and down the ballot. Moreover, people are choosing to cast their votes for Libertarians,' he said in a statement. 'In total, Libertarian candidates received 356,287 votes in 2016 -- over 7.5 percent of all votes cast....
Yet the election laws of the State of Arkansas say that's not good enough to remain a state-recognized political party.'

"In Arkansas, the party needs its presidential candidate to garner 3 percent of the popular vote to retain ballot access. Pakko said a more reasonable standard would be 2 percent.

"In 2016, the party's candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, received 2.6 percent of the vote in Arkansas. In 2012, he received 1.5 percent of the vote.

"Libertarians won recognition as an official Arkansas political party for the first time after collecting more than 16,000 signatures in 2011.

"The secretary of state's office has 30 days to validate the party's signatures to verify that at least 10,000 registered voters have signed the petitions.

"After some final paperwork to be filed, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas expects to be declared a 'new political party' sometime before the end of July."

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