Gary Johnson

Ohio Might Try to Stall Its Way to Keeping Gary Johnson Off the Ballot

Complicated ballot access shenanigans, based in seeing ambiguities in the law that might not exist, make Gary Johnson's presence as an independent on Ohio's ballot in November still in flux.

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Because of various past shenanigans with the state, the Libertarian Party does not have a ballot line in Ohio. Supporters of the L.P. ticket of Gary Johnson and William Weld were trying to get them on the ballot there as independents, which involved collecting 5,000 signatures which were legally due in on Wednesday August 10. They were turned in.

LP of Ohio

Since the process to collect the signatures began months before anyone knew who the L.P's actual candidate would be, a couple of Libertarians, Charles Earl and Kenneth Moellman Jr., allowed their names to be placed on the petitions as the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

They always had the intention, as Ohio election code clearly allows, of stepping down from the ballot in favor of Johnson and Weld. (Anthony Fisher reported on this whole brouhaha earlier this week.)

Here's the relevant section of the code, 3513.31(F):

If a person nominated by petition as an independent or nonpartisan candidate for election at the next general election withdraws as that candidate or is disqualified as that candidate under section 3513.052 of the Revised Code, the vacancy so created may be filled by a majority of the committee of five, as designated on the candidate's nominating petition, if a member of that committee certifies in writing and under oath to the election officials with whom the candidate filed the candidate's nominating petition, not later than the eighty-sixth day before the day of the general election, the name of the person selected to fill the vacancy. The certification shall be accompanied by the written acceptance of the nomination by the person whose name is certified and shall be made in the manner provided for a major political party.

That "eighty-sixth day" would be Monday, August 15. Scott Pettigrew, a member of that five-man nominating committee, says this afternoon that they will make the proper substitution filing on that deadline for Johnson and Weld.

If local media reports are to be believed, the secretary of state's office has one last shenanigan in hand to try to rob the L.P of getting their men on the ballot, even without the L.P. label.

Here's how it seems to be going, according to the Columbus Dispatch:

County boards of elections will be unable to certify petition signatures submitted for a "placeholder" candidate, would-be 2014 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl, by a key deadline on Monday, according to the office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

Monday is the deadline for the withdrawal and replacement of independent candidates and the needed 5,000 signatures among the 12,000-plus submitted with Earl's name will not be certified in time to meet that deadline, Husted spokesman Joshua Eck said today….

Eck said in an interview this afternoon that the secretary of state's office is, as of now, not quite sure that the part of the election code quoted above "can be used in a presidential election" (I don't see what ambiguity might exist to make them wonder that).

They also are not sure "whether a candidate can withdraw his candidacy before it has been certified." Eck says they are "waiting on legal counsel" to advise them on those issues.

Eck also points out in an emailed message that given that the official substitution request has not been filed, he can't authoritatively judge that hypothetical. (Again, Pettigrew insists it will be properly filed by the deadline of Monday.)

Eck spelled out in our interview the potential wrinkle in the fact that state law does not require the Board of Elections to certify an independent candidate until eight days after the Monday deadline for the substitution filing.

Pettigrew points out, and he says that many lawyers on their team agree, that nothing in the language of the code states that the placeholder must have been certified before the substitution happens, despite Eck's concern. Indeed, that timing wrinkle would lend weight to the contention that certification can't be necessary for substitution.

Pettigrew says he's fully confident "we are well within the black letter of the law" and that they are "not paying attention" to these distracting statements from the secretary of state's office to the media.

Ken Moellman, the initial vice presidential candidate who has resigned in favor of the Johnson/Weld substitution, also said this afternoon that "I was intimately involved" in the petition drive and he's sure they have independently validated 6,500 or so signatures of the 5,000 legally required. "We know we are good," Moellman says. "The real question is whether the secretary of state, or the spokesperson speaking for him, have a full understanding of the process."

He points out that, as Anthony Fisher reported here earlier, Eck apparently didn't know that such substitutions had been done successfully in the recent past for non-major candidates.

Moellman related in our interview how he and Earl already formally withdrew, and that the nominating committee met to choose Johnson and Weld as their replacements.

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  1. Well, of course.

    Ohio is a swing state.

    Can’t have a third party ruin democracy, etc.

    1. up to I saw the paycheck four $5679 , I have faith that my sister could truley bringing in money parttime from their laptop. . there neighbor started doing this 4 only about 19 months and recently cleared the mortgage on their villa and bought a great new BMW 5-series . go >>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://sha.howdays.com/

    2. Started working at home! It is by far the best job I have ever had. I just recently purchased a Brand new BMW since getting a check for 25470 dollar this 7-week past. I began this 6 months ago and I am now bringing home at least 97 dollar per hour. I work through this website. Go here… http://bit.do/OpL0a

    3. Started working at home! It is by far the best job I have ever had. I just recently purchased a Brand new BMW since getting a check for 25470 dollar this 7-week past. I began this 6 months ago and I am now bringing home at least 97 dollar per hour. I work through this website. Go here… http://bit.do/OpL0a

  2. “Ken Moellman”

    That’s not pronounced Mole-Man, is it?

  3. It’s OK to mention Husted’s party affiliation, he’s a Republican.

  4. Not sure if covered, libertarian moment.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/08/10/…..-marijuana

    1. It’s easy to tell what party they are — either it’s mentioned in the first two paras that they’re an (R), or it’s not, in which case they’re a (D).

  5. The first question is, does Johnson take more votes from team blue’s sociopath than from team red’s sociopath?

    The second question is, which team is favored by the power mongers in Ohio.

    1. Well, the Governor and Secretary of State are both Republican. But the Governor has refused to endorse Trump and is likely hoping Trump loses while the SoS is apparently a Trump supporter.

      So…who knows?

  6. “we are well within the black letter of the law”

    Black Letters Matter?

    1. Come on. Don’t all letters matter?

  7. Make sure you’ve used the bathroom before reading this article, otherwise you might pee your pants in happiness.

    1. Roll20 is pretty great.

    1. Neo-Pagans are fine by me, I am not going to run to my safe space after having heard about that them thar neo-paganism… I do find it hurtful that you have neglected to mention Neon-Paganistic Neoplasms, or Scienfoologists, however laudably broad-minded ye might be…

    1. Let us stand now, unbowed and unfettered by arcane doctrines, born of fearful minds in darkened times.

      So says the guy who’s major deity figure comes explicitly from an arcane doctrine born of fearful minds in darkened times.

      1. But enough about The Prophet Muhammed, Bringer of Truth, Peace be upon him!

  8. “”There’s a certain element of truth, there’s a certain element of beauty in the darkness that you don’t find in the light,” he said. “It’s cold and stark; it’s right up in your face, and if you can’t deal with it psychologically, you’re going to have repercussions. But that doesn’t mean there’s still not a stark beauty in the darkness.””

    1. “Daniels said this year’s celebrations include The Consumption of Mary as a way to illustrate black magic and his church’s teachings and *distinguish them from atheistic Satanism.*” [emphasis added]

      1. ‘Atheistic Satanism’. That’s like the ‘anarchists for more government’ you see every time the WTO meets. Or ‘democratic socialist’.

        1. Ions for neutrality! And no, I am not trying to be ionic…

          1. “Ions for neutrality. ”

            Thanks, I really got a charge out of that.

            1. We need less negativity, of that I am positive.

  9. Looks like one more reason why the Libertarian Party needs to hold its presidential nominating conventions earlier in the presidential election years.

    1. Solution to that: Move the petition deadline up.

  10. Ann Coulter and tricks are coming,
    So is red, in Ohio.

  11. Maybe Gary should start growling about a rigged election which (for him) is not delusional.

  12. RE: Ohio Might Try to Stall Its Way to Keeping Gary Johnson Off the Ballot
    Complicated ballot access shenanigans, based in seeing ambiguities in the law that might not exist, make Gary Johnson’s presence as an independent on Ohio’s ballot in November still in flux.

    Eliminating Mr. Johnson from the Ohio ballot is a wise idea. The general illiterate masses would only become confused if there was a third party candidate. The little people have finally found out the wisdom of a two party system and has wisely voted accordingly much to the benefit to those who enslave us all. This way, our two political parties have wise made the election process a duopoly in which both sides take turns stealing and enslaving the collective. This third party candidate would only espouse freedom and capitalism, the very anathemas to our beloved socialist slave state when he inspires the lowly plebian class to the ugly and nefarious concepts of freedom and capitalism. So let us all rejoice at Ohio’s wise decision to keep Mr. Johnson off the ballot.

  13. On election day, I still think Johnson is likely to draw more support away from the blowhard than the crook.

    It’ll be interesting if Johnson getting on ballot in Ohio decides the election–and it very well could

    “Nothing in the language of the code states that the placeholder must have been certified before the substitution happens, despite Eck’s concern.”

    If Hillary gets in, and it’s because it depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is, wouldn’t that be appropriate?

      1. Just watched a few old youtube videos of Christopher Hitchens discussing President-elect Obama’s pick of Hillary as SoS. In light of the Clinton Foundation scandal we’re being forced to watch unfold today, it’s jaw-dropping that Hitchens was warning us of this very thing 8 years ago.

        1. It’s the same shit they did with foreign donors when Bill was in the White House.

          “For the U.S. political process as a whole, the DNC and White House’s reckless fundraising disregarded an obvious risk ? the danger that powerful foreign nationals, or even governments, would attempt to buy influence through campaign contributions. The result of all this was foreseeable, including: the erosion of safeguards in U.S. election law designed to guard against political corruption, and unprecedented amounts of illegal foreign contributions making their way into Democratic coffers. The Committee uncovered strong circumstantial evidence that the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was involved in funding, directing, or encouraging some of these foreign contributions

          . . .

          1. President Clinton has attempted to distance himself from these scandals by trying to distinguish his own “official” re-election campaign (Clinton/Gore ’96) from the abuses the DNC carried out. Based on the evidence compiled by the Committee, however, this distinction is untenable. Indeed, no one has done more to erode this very distinction than the President himself, who with his staff effectively seized control of DNC operations and ran all Democratic party campaign and fundraising efforts out of the White House. During the 1996 campaign, the DNC was the alter ego of the White House”

            “Investigation on Illegal or Improper Activities in Connection With The 1996 Federal Election Campaigns.”
            Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
            March 5, 1998

            http://tinyurl.com/hfezphp

            The Clintons seek power to sell favors. That’s what they’ve always done.

            There has been no change.

            They leverage power to enrich themselves.

            They’ve been doing it since Little Rock.

            They’ve been doing it since before Whitewater.

            They’re crooks.

            1. I have heard more than one person claim that the lewinsky scandal was a deliberate effort to distract republicans from the Chinese donations.

            2. “Indeed, no one has done more to erode this very distinction than the President himself, who with his staff effectively seized control of DNC operations and ran all Democratic party campaign and fundraising efforts out of the White House. During the 1996 campaign, the DNC was the alter ego of the White House”

              This is also what Debbie Wasserman Schultz was doing at the DNC for Hillary Clinton ahead of the Democratic convention–before Wikileaks outer her.

              That the Hillary Clinton campaign hired Debbie Wasserman Schultz the day she resigned from the DNC is such blatant and obvious . . .

              Yeah, the DNC and the Clinton campaign were and almost certainly are the same thing. That’s the way it was in the 1990s, and that’s the way it is today.

      2. Yes, it is rigged.

        It looks like the “Johnson Rule” is still in effect. Back in 2012 every time Johnson got the required percentage of votes to get into the Republican debates, they raised the requirement. When they wanted John Huntsman in and Johnson out they only counted polls where Johnson’s name didn’t appear. Huntsman had fewer votes than Johnson in the only poll where they both appeared.

        Ohio may be only the beginning. We haven’t seen the lawsuits challenging all of the signatures that are sure to appear in other states. Even though the suits will lose they may be able to delay Johnson’s name from being on the ballot.

        1. Nobody cares about 0.5% of the vote but 15% can change an election. Johnson hurt Clinton more than Trump so Trump would be a fool to sue Johnson but remember…he’s Trump.

          1. Trump would be is a fool

            FTFY

  14. Listen to you!

    “Complicated ballot access shenanigans, based in seeing ambiguities in the law that might not exist,”

    Kinda like complicated voter id laws which see voter fraud that doesn’t exist. And that’s been going on for years, and Reason rarely gets as upset as you just did. But infringe on libertarians on election matters, watch out!

    1. This was posted today, you mendacious troll.

      1. Jackass has never much cared about silly things like facts.

    2. Proof of a dire problem has never been a requirement to expand the regulatory state and you have never complained about regulations in any other context. You love regulations so enjoy these.

    3. Kinda like complicated voter id laws which see voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

      There is nothing “complicated” about having to show a photo id for voting.

      Furthermore, nobody knows the level of voter fraud, since there is no way we can measure it. Since there is massive fraud in lots of other government services, it’s a reasonable assumption that there is also in voting.

  15. Does Ohio allow write-ins?

    1. Technically, yes, but most Ohioans don’t know how to write.

  16. He was on ballot in 2012.

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  18. Why do they wait until the last minute? Seems like with a 5000 signature requirement they could have submitted the signatures, processed the replacement paperwork, and dotted all the i’s an crossed all the t’s weeks ago. Then they would have had plenty of time to deal with the bullshit. How can not certifying the signatures in time be an acceptable reason to keep someone off the ballot? Is this “the dog ate my homework” of electioneering?

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