by Abraham Kenmore, Watertown Daily Times
The New York Libertarian Party has increased its registration since gaining back its status as an official, counted political party.
“They are a recorded party,” said Cheryl L. Couser, deputy director of public information for the New York State Board of Elections. “They had been registered and then they dropped status.”
Now the party is reconstituting itself, according to former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Larry Sharpe.
“I think no one thought we could do it,” he said. “We are actively out there, growing.”
At-Large Committee Member Kari Bittner, who also served as Mr. Sharpe’s campaign manager, said his campaign was a major incentive to the increase.
“Last year that campaign was very exciting,” she said. “When you would go into these events, (attendees) would be from all parties.”
Ms. Bittner said that the appeal of an option beside the two main parties sparked new enthusiasm among voters who had given up.
“They’ve just been looking for something different,” she said. “By making a strong third party, you can make the two main parties behave better.”
Before the November elections, Libertarians had been listed among “other” party registrants during periodic statewide counts of registered voters. In last year’s gubernatorial elections, however, Mr. Sharpe won over 50,000 votes statewide — the number needed to be listed as a separate party. Now the party is forming a statewide committee and continuing to recruit people and raise funds...
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