Thursday, March 1, 2018

Name hijacking puts Delaware Libertarians' ballot access in question

Ballot access in question for Delaware Libertarians - Delaware State News | Delaware State News - Ian Groneau:

February 28 - "The state’s election commissioner says she doesn’t know which party should get ballot access belonging to Delaware’s 1,640 registered Libertarians. Two committees are vying for that access: the Libertarian Party of Delaware and the Libertarian Party of Delaware Inc.

"'I don’t know who gets to claim them at this point,' said Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove. 'I am awaiting a response from my Deputy Attorney General'....

"[T]he Libertarian Party of Delaware claims it’s both been putting candidates on state ballots and sending delegations to the National Libertarian Party’s conventions for many years. Libertarian Party of Delaware Secretary Will McVay said Ms. Manlove told his party leadership at the Feb. 12 Board of Elections meeting that their party was the one who would maintain ballot access, but has failed to provide it in writing....

"The national Libertarian Party has also urged the commissioner to address the issue promptly. A statement from the executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, Wes Benedict, both recognizes the Libertarian Party of Delaware as their only state affiliate and disavows the claim made by the Libertarian Party of Delaware Inc....

"McVay said the confusion started several months ago, when the Libertarian Party of Delaware Inc. 'fraudulently' formed a 'political committee' by filing a statement of organization with the election office. He notes that constitutionally, this sort of 'hijacking' should be impossible, but ... 'Delaware code title 15, section 3302 (a), ... says that if you’re a Democrat or Republican, they’ll protect your name, but if you’re anyone else, you’re not mentioned.... So, we’re beginning to wonder if that’s an equal protections issue under the 14th Amendment as well.'
"The Libertarian Party of Delaware Inc. did not provide an official comment to this paper regarding their claim. But, the administrator of their Facebook page claimed that 'the LPD is not affiliated with the Libertarian Party according to the Department of Election’s registration forms available to the public' and 'the LPD, INC was established in 1975, and is in good standing with the state of Delaware,' in response to a request for comment."

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