[Columbus, November 9] Pleased with their candidate's 2016 showing, but unwilling to settle for a “no party” label for the future, Libertarian Party of Ohio activists are already hitting the streets to petition for the restoration of ballot access. Denied a party line on the Ohio ballot by the combination of a draconian ballot access law and a corrupt conspiracy to remove the party's 2014 candidate for governor from the ballot, the LPO must submit petitions with more than 53,000 valid signatures no later than July 4, 2018. But the party is setting itself some more challenging deadlines.
In order to pre-validate signatures and have time for a last-minute push if needed, the party has set a hard deadline of June 1, 2018 for petitions to be in the party's office. But according to Executive Committee Vice-Chair Scott Pettigrew, there's a much more aggressive goal. “Our intention is to file our petitions by December 1, 2017. We become a recognized political party in Ohio again from the moment we file,” he explained. “If we meet this goal, we believe we can force the state to grant us a party primary, so that voters may select Libertarian candidates the same way they select Democrats and Republicans.”
“This isn't just about us,” Pettigrew said. “The Republican Party has succeeded in limiting voter choice in Ohio. Sure, we want the chance to make our voices heard, but we also believe that it's unfair for the two legacy parties to dictate voters' choices.”
“We must now regain ballot access for our party,” Pettigrew continued. “This is a task designed to require us to expend our political capital on petitioning, instead of developing candidates, but I think we can turn it into a silver lining.” Pettigrew explained that he will be meeting with the Libertarian National Committee next month to secure their financial support for the petitioning effort. No effort of this size has ever been completed successfully in Ohio without the aid of paid petitioners. “I will be asking them to provide monetary support for our efforts, but they are unwilling to do so unless we can lower our monetary task by showing a strong volunteer effort within the state. This is why we need to start petitioning right now.”
According to Pettigrew, the party is asking volunteers to make a pledge, right now, to gather signatures for this effort. For the next year, when you attend a fair, parade, football game, or community event, expect to also see Libertarian volunteers asking for your support for voter choice.”
To obtain blank petitions, to donate, or for more information, visit the party's website at www.lpo.org.