Third Parties

The LP Struggles to Get on the Ballot as a Party in Ohio


The Libertarian Party is working to get its presidential candidate on the ballot as a Libertarian in Ohio and elsewhere. They've got a lawsuit brewing in the Buckeye State, one that will be heard in a couple of weeks. Some background via the AP:

A rule put in place by former Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell required the party to turn in more than 40,000 signatures 120 days before the presidential primary. That law was struck down as unconstitutional in 2006 by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati because it violated the party's First Amendment rights of free association by preventing access to the ballot.

The Ohio Legislature, however, failed to craft a new law according to the court's guidelines, and current Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner had to come up with her own requirements. The Libertarian Party, however, still believes her directive violates the spirit of the court ruling. A hearing is set for July 14 in federal court in Columbus.

Brunner's magic number? 20,000 sigs 100 days before the primary.

More here.

Ballot-access restrictions are a continuing problem and should be a national outrage, regardless of the party in question. Especially in cases such as this one, where the law works to keep candidates from identifying themselves as belonging to a group that clearly and concisely gives information to voters in the ballot booth.

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  1. Is Ohio really a State now?


  2. According to the shape of our flag, we’re seem to be a carnival midway ride. And our officials do nothing to dispel the notion.

  3. That incenses me that states are basically too chickensh*t to let the “can’t win” third parties put their candidate (and party affiliation) on the ballot. What’s the point? What are they afraid of? The thrid parties can’t *possibly* win anyway, right?! Well, my story is (was) that back in 1988, as a still wet behind the ears Libertarian, I did vote for Dr. Ron Paul precisely because I knew what a Libertarian stood for, and not so much because I knew all that much about the candidate Ron Paul. Of course, I’ve never looked back myself. But hey, having a candidate and a party affiliation *might* influence a small percentage of the small percentage of third party voters to vote in one way, but it sure as heck ain’t going to affect the outcome of the election! What *will* affect the outcome of elections will be the continued efforts by the states on behalf of the two-party duopoly to continue to obstruct and obfuscate the electoral process. I will laugh my butt off when it blows up in their faces!

  4. I prefer to think that I live in a land ruled by two parties and party machinations rather than elected government. It really clarifies things.

  5. 4 shrug in O-Hi-O.

  6. Noggin,
    I have often asked, how different can a two party system be from a one party system?

  7. Twenty quatloos on the newcomer!

  8. Tastes great versus less filling. If there are only two sides to any problem, why would you need more than two parties 😉

  9. Wait, you need to be on a ballot now? I thought whoever gave the most money to Diebold won the election.

  10. In TN it seems the case that it must be pretty easy to get on the ballot for almost any race, since there have been plenty of choices for federal, State and local races ever since I began voting in 1980.

    Should actually look into what the rules are before going into TN ballot advocate mode, but they certainly give the appearance of being reasonable on that item. As well as being able to keep road-kill.

  11. I used to think that the two party system was great when compared to a parliamentary system like Italy’s (which I admit is a drastic example) or a one party system like many local governments. With time I’ve come to think that I’d rather live in a chaotic multi-party state if I have to live in a state at all.

    Which came first, the two party system or everyone being labeled on one side or another?

  12. Actually, we do have a multi-party system, but primarily a two party operation.

  13. What we really need is a significant write in candidate. That will throw the whole system out of whack, taking days to count the vote rather than minutes.

    Anyway, rather off topic, but are there states with straight party ticket voting?

  14. Anyway, rather off topic, but are there states with straight party ticket voting?

    Yes, Texas does. I’m planning on turning in a straight Libertarian ballot.

  15. Anyway, rather off topic, but are there states with straight party ticket voting?

    Good question for TallDave. Illinois used to have it, not sure if they do now.

    I do not remember if TN did from last time I voted, but I don’t use it anyway.

  16. Anyway, rather off topic, but are there states with straight party ticket voting?

    Maybe this belongs on the gay marriage thread? LOL

  17. Yes, Texas does. I’m planning on turning in a straight Libertarian ballot.

    I meant to ask if third parties had that option as well, but I see that they do.

  18. The Straight Party…hmmm…it has promise.

  19. Maybe this belongs on the gay marriage thread? LOL

    The Straight Party…hmmm…it has promise.

    I think the real question now is how long a “Straight Party” would last before the first lawsuit?

  20. Yeah, the ballot access bullshit is a continuing annoyance. I have to verbally beatdown Ds and Rs on a regular basis over it. You won the party primary! You’re on the ballot! Funny how that doesn’t apply to other parties, now does it? Hmm. Maybe the rules are rigged in favor of the d & R? Why would that be?

    I get some of the dumbest responses ever about how this is still fair and legitimate.

  21. Guy,

    I haven’t voted here yet since college (I moved back a couple years ago), but iirc you could back then.

    I’d bet you still can. It makes the massive urban vote fraud easier for the unions and illegal immigrants.

  22. New Hampshire had straight ticket voting until 4 years ago, if I recall correctly. I know we don’t anymore.

  23. Here is a question I don’t hear asked much: why should party affiliation appear on the ballot at all? Or be relevant in any way to how elections are run? Should you really be voting for someone if all you know about them is their party?

  24. In Soviet Russia, party ticket straightens you!

  25. Zeb. Of course you should be voting for parties, as long as the parties stand for something. I could know nothing at all about some local Libertarian candidate and yet still know a lot about the brand he chooses to run under.
    Or I could, if Ohio would let the Libertarian “brand” on the ballot.

  26. Well, I can see voting for a Libertarian because of the brand, but voting for a D or R solely because of party doesn’t seem like a good bet. In my fantasy world, either parties don’t have anything at all to do with what is on the ballot, or any party with more than one member gets on the ballot.

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