Tuesday, July 3, 2018

AZ GOP gets Libertarian gov. candidate off ballot

Is the Arizona GOP at War with the Libertarian Party? - IVN.us - Shawn M. Griffiths:

June 29, 2018 - "Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Kevin McCormick is officially off his party’s primary ballot. He was the only libertarian candidate still in the race, until Arizona GOP Chair Jonathan Lines challenged the legitimacy of over 90 percent of his ballot signatures.

"McCormick ... said he found out 15 minutes before his hearing that he would be kicked off the ballot. The one hold up was Maricopa County. He said that because the county recorder’s office went beyond what was legally required, the recorder’s report had him 942 signatures short of what he needed. [Update: Kevin McCormick says his campaign has identified over 500 valid signatures as of Friday morning that were tossed by Maricopa County.]....

"Lines challenged the registration status of many of the voters, as well as the lack of city/town information on addresses. The most detrimental challenge to McCormick, though, targeted the party affiliation of many of the signers. McCormick ... was ... able to get signatures from hundreds of Republicans and Democrats. Because of this, though, the Arizona GOP was able to successfully kick him out of the gubernatorial race....

"Gaining ballot access is not easy for independent and third party candidates in Arizona.... The Republican-controlled state legislature also made things more difficult for Libertarian candidates in 2015 when they passed a ballot access law that raised the signature requirement to qualify for the Libertarian primary ballot.

"Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News and nationally-recognized expert on the subject, explained to me that the 2015 law based the party’s new signature requirement on total registered voters in the state, rather than the total number of registered libertarians. Winger noted that the law only hurt Libertarians.

"The Libertarian Party filed a lawsuit challenging the law. It failed in district court. However, the party is now asking the Ninth Circuit to overturn the law.

"In 2018, McCormick had to get 3,152 signatures versus the 133 required before the 2015 law. To put that in perspective, the new signature requirement is a little over 10 percent of the total number of registered libertarians in Arizona."

Read more: https://ivn.us/2018/06/29/arizona-gop-war-libertarian-party/
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