Election 2012

Johnson/Gray Now On More Ballots Than Barr/Root In 2008

The Libertarians are on the cusp of obtaining nationwide ballot access for the first time since 1996. Can they do it?


With the additions of Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Rhode Island, the Gary Johnson and Jim Gray ticket is now on more ballots than the 2008 Libertarian ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root. Johnson is certified in 47 states plus the District of Columbia while the Barr campaign only managed 45 states, minus D.C. The campaign is fighting legal battles in Oklahoma, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in hopes of obtaining its goal of nationwide ballot access.

In Oklahoma the Johnson campaign is facing its toughest fight as they failed to gain status as the Libertarian Party but still managed to get on the ballot on the Americans Elect line. They are being challenged by Republicans because Americas Elect did not host a national convention to nominate a candidate. Oklahoma is notorious for high ballot access hurdles and it's unlikely the LP would be even fighting here if it weren't for the now zombified Americans Elect corpse. If they lose their fight in Oklahoma on this issue, there is no chance Johnson and Gray will get on the ballot in time before Election Day.

Michigan has been a long-term thorn in the side of the Johnson campaign because it's the only state that has actually gone to the mat on its "sore loser" law. Johnson has been tangled in lawsuits since he missed a deadline to remove his name from the Michigan Republican primary ballot by three minutes. In the event that their efforts fail, the Libertarians are using Gary E. Johnson of Texas as a stand-in on their ballot line. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman ruled against Johnson, denying him a spot on the ballot. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is refusing to place Gary Johnson of Texas on the ballot there because "no provision in of the Michigan Election Law authorizes a political party to nominate a contingent or stand-in candidate." According to people close to the campaign they are gearing up for a fight in state court but if that fails they have organized a write-in campaign as a last resort.

The Keystone State appears as the least challenging of their three fights. Johnson's signatures are facing a challenge from state Republicans on the grounds that some them, along with their paperwork, contain defects that should invalidate them. They are being challenged on three counts and if any of them fail then Johnson should make it on the ballot. In the event they succeed the Johnson campaign would have a week to get their house in order to get back on the ballot.

Fifty state ballot access isn't out of the question for the Johnson campaign but these three states are making things difficult for them. The last Libertarian presidential ticket to make it on the ballot in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, a feat they have accomplished three times, was the 1996 campaign of Harry Browne. In 2000 the Libertarians were on the ballot in all 50 states but Neil Smith, not Browne, was on the ballot as the party's presidential candidate in Arizona.

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  1. Gary who?

    1. Gary Johnson. He was a two-term governor of New Mexico, and actually vetoed spending.

  2. Johnson is certified in 47 states plus the District of Columbia…

    Obama will try to get him on the ballot in the remaining ten states.

    1. That never gets old.

      (I am being sarcastic, just in case anyone is wondering)

    2. That never gets old…without the sarcasm.

  3. im gonna vote for johnson…if obama’s gonna carry ohio anyway. I want johnson to qual for the federal match.

  4. This is such fucking bullshit. Why are people so vindictive? A “sore loser” law? Fuck them with a rusty spoon.

    1. Because, like John and Tulpa, many Republicans consider libertarian voters “their” property, and having Johnson on the ballot is depriving them of votes that are rightfully theirs, because they talked about maybe cutting spending that one time. And all of this sleazy, underhanded bullshit is justified because MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIME!!!

      1. Even though most libertarians aren’t going to vote Republican. Right?

        1. Hammer never said the position made sense. Neither did shutting out so many groups at the RNC National Convention, and yet it happened.

    2. Fuck them with a rusty spoon.

      Why so gentle? I say go with the fork and splintered chopsticks.

      1. Well, that’s not very nice.

    3. Have sore loser laws ever been challenged on basis of violating the “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government” clause?

      Cause it just sounds like plain evil old horse shit: “You can’t run cause you are trying to get around this arrangement where our two private clubs have taken over the government”.

      Of course the guys hearing the argument are mostly going to be members of one of the two private clubs that have taken over the government, but still, just wonderin.

      1. If there’s any possible grounds for a constitutional challenge on ANY ballot access restrictions, why the heck hasn’t the LP made any legal challenges? Are they quitters or just masochistic?

  5. Yay! 2-5% of the vote, here we come!

    1. 2-5%? Wow. I like your optimism.

      1. Living up to my handle, I do think that Johnson may set the high water mark for the LP this time around. I think there are more people that are genuinely fed up with the Obamney choice than we give credit for, even if most disaffected voters won’t defect from their party.

        1. Only if the Johnson campaign can make sure that Ron Paul’s name isn’t allowed to be written in on any ballots.


          1. Johnson’s name recognition is poor.

            I wish I were a billionaire, and could bankroll a real campaign for him. Sadly, I am not.

            1. Yeah, all the actual billionaires are cozying up to one TEAM or the other.

              1. That’s because the Libertarians aren’t offering to continue to dole out crony deals. There’s literally nothing in it for them, and in many cases they stand to lose a lot if a Libertarian ever actually got elected.

                1. It’s because we purged the billionaire who helped fund the 1980 campaign from the party.

            2. I wish you were a billionaire, so you could bankroll a portfolio of apartment buildings for me. Sadly, you are not.

        2. THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT. The LP will get more than 2% of the vote! This time! I know that was said in every damned election since 1972, but this time it’s different.

    2. What do you guys think is a realistic result for the LP this time around?

      1. 1.5 – 2.5 %

        1. Two percent total with 5 percent in a couple states and balance of power in 2-3 states — that’d be crazy good. When I’m feeling optimistic, I can envision it.

      2. I’ll be extremely optimistic and say 4%. I think enough Ron Paul voters will realize that if they want any chance of Rand in 2016, Romney needs to lose in November (if they were ever planning to vote for him in the first place).

        If Romney wins, Rand would have to both answer for Romney’s sins in the next election AND would become a persona non grata in the GOP for challenging their own president’s policies.

  6. Note to Pennsylvania Republicans: I am not going to vote for Romney if you kick Johnson off the ballot.

    1. I’ll even go further. If the PA GOP gets Johnson kicked off the ballot, I’ll vote for Obama out of spite.

      1. I’m tempted to too, but then I remember that that would mean voting for Barack Obama.

        I can’t do that.

    2. As of Monday, it turns out I am one of 52526 registered voters in my county which are “other”, meaning registered to a party (not No Affiliation) which aren’t Dems or Reps.

      I am surprised it’s that many, about 10% of registered voters in the county.

  7. Gary E. Johnson of Texas? That’s an awesome way to avoid their technicalities. I look forward to the media showing separate vote totals for Gary Johnson and Gary E. Johnson.

  8. Those of us who actually live in Michigan are looking on in helpless rage as our Republican Secretary of State chooses to interpret a law in a way she thinks will help her party. Meanwhile I arranged today to get a Johnson lawn sign even if he’s not on the ballot.
    Ain’t politics fun?!

  9. Amazing how far the GOP will go to keep us from having a clear choice. Filthy turds…. Feck! Drink! Arse! Girls!

  10. So how did Johnson actually get ON the MI ballot, anyway? He says he didn’t ask to be there; someone else actually put him there and then it was apparently his responsibility to withdraw. Is he misremembering, and did his campaign actually ASK to be on the MI GOP candidate list, giving authority to the MI GOP to forward that list, with his name on it, over to the MI Secretary of State? Or did a third party — perhaps some overworked volunteer or minor minion of the MI GOP — in fact submit his name without his (or his campaign’s) consent? If the latter, and I were a fair judge, I might conclude that Johnson, acting in good faith to withdraw as soon as possible after learning about the requirement and deadline, should be given benefit of the doubt after having been “obligated” without his knowledge by a third party. If, on the other hand, someone turns up documents signed by Johnson or his authorized representatives, then I think the “sore loser” law, as much as I hate it and its specific application here, may apply. Who knows the facts of the bureaucratic process in this case? I hope they are made clear in the court records.

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