by Shawn M. Griffiths, IVN
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.
In a phone conversation with McCormick, he 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.
When a candidate’s signature petitions are challenged, the burden of proof is on the challenger. They have to state the page and line number the signature is on, as well as the basis for the challenge.
Jonathan 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.
Many of his signatures were invalidated because the voter was not registered with the Libertarian Party or were registered independents. State law prohibits qualified party candidates from obtaining signatures from voters registered with another party.
McCormick was not only able to obtain signatures from a significant number of libertarians and independents, he was also 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.
“This is just another step in the long-term strategy to limit choice at the ballot box,” McCormick remarked...
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