Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Twenty Ohio Libertarians Make Use of New Procedure to Run for Partisan Office

Ballot Access News

The Libertarian Party of Ohio is the first party to use the ballot access procedures for newly-qualifying parties that the legislature passed in 2013. The party had first met the July 3, 2018 deadline for the party petition. That petition required 54,965 valid signatures, and was found to be valid.
Then, the law said by July 19, any candidate who wanted a Libertarian nomination was required to submit a petition of 50 signatures for statewide office, or five signatures for other office. Twenty Libertarians submitted such petitions. In no instance did more than a single Libertarian for any particular office submit a candidate petition, so all of them are now deemed nominated and will appear on the November ballot. If two Libertarians had submitted a candidate petition for the same office, then the law permitted the state party officers to choose the actual nominee, and the other person would not appear on the ballot.

The offices being sought are U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State, four US House seats (districts 5, 10, 14, and 15), one State Senate seat, seven State House seats, and three partisan county offices.

The Green Party is also on the ballot, but it is not a newly-qualifying party, so it nominated this year by primary in May.

One of the paradoxes of the 2013 law is that newly-qualifying parties can choose candidates who emerge as late as July. Yet the independent candidate petition law requires that all non-presidential independents must submit petitions by the day before the May primary (the primary is in May in midterm years and March in presidential years). In 2005 the Sixth Circuit had upheld the independent candidate deadline on the grounds that it wouldn’t be fair if independents could decide to run for office later than the date parties nominated candidates. That decision was Lawrence v Blackwell, 430 F.3d 368. It now appears to be obsolete.

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