Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Maine Secretary of State Converts all Registered Libertarians to Independents

Ballot Access News

On December 14, the Maine Secretary of State converted all 5,500 registered Libertarians to registered independents. The Maine Secretary of State had been told that the party intends to file a lawsuit soon, arguing that it is unconstitutional for states to automatically change voter registration just because the party goes off the ballot. Only a handful of states have that policy. In five states, courts have ruled that voters have a right to be registered into unqualified parties: Colorado, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma.
If the Maine Libertarians could keep their registrations, then the party would be back on the ballot. It lost its qualified status recently because it didn’t have at least 10,000 registrants who actually cast a ballot in November 2018. But the law says a new party can become qualified if it has 5,000 registrants. So if the party still had its registrants, it could re-qualify as a “new” party.

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