Once again, the State of Ohio has proven itself a corrupt system designed to protect the politicians in power over the interests of their citizens. We all pay taxes to support elections as well as every county's Board of Elections but not all people have equal access to that service, even when they've followed all the rules.
In the 2016 elections, Gary Johnson carried 3.17% of the votes which is in excess of the State's minimum requirement of 3% for any "group" of people to be recognized as a "minor" political party in Ohio.
Ohio Revised Code 3517.01 Political party definitions.
(A) (1) A political party within the meaning of Title XXXV of the Revised Code is any group of voters that meets either of the following requirements:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, at the most recent regular state election, the group polled for its candidate for governor in the state or nominees for presidential electors at least three per cent of the entire vote cast for that office. A group that meets the requirements of this division remains a political party for a period of four years after meeting those requirements.
Yet, the courts have ruled that since the Libertarian Party wasn't recognized as a party at the time of the elections, the three percent rule doesn't apply. Just how does a political party come into being in Ohio if it must be an existing party to earn party status?
The only dissenting justice, William O’Neill, observed that the majority ruling involved “circular reasoning.”
“Respectfully, I must dissent. Relators [LPO] have filed this action by virtue of the fact that their candidates captured more than 3 percent of the statewide vote for president and vice president in the 2016 general election. They seek recognition as the Libertarian Party to participate in Ohio’s 2017 primary election and beyond. Respondent, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, opposes relators’ candidates did not run under the Libertarian Party banner in 2016. That is, at best, circular reasoning.”
For a summary of the ongoing legal/political battle visit our blog post here and for real insight into the lengths at which the state is willing to go to deny voters options, see a detail of the many lawsuits and rulings in the long running battle on Ballot Access News.
The only option available to gain ballot access is through an expensive and time consuming process of circulating petitions to gather signatures for voters registered in Ohio. To have access to the ballot in 2018 we need 55,000 valid signatures. However, with complex petitioning requirements we will be gathering 100,000 signatures. Realistically, this will require paid professionals and approximately $250,000, since unlike the major parties, we are primarily a party of volunteers.
This is exactly what our enemies in the old parties want - to tie up our resources fighting for ballot access instead of focusing on contesting their incumbents' seats.
We need every liberty minded person in the state to help. We will win this battle but need volunteers and donors.
Sign the Petition - If you haven't signed a petition yet, please sign up here and we will find a way to get one to you!
Volunteer - Join us at the State level or in your own county. Simply complete this questionnaire and we will contact you based on your interests. We are organizing to petition all over the state.
Help like a Libertarian - Please at least find a petition to sign! You can also print out a petition yourself. But the first rule is that you can't sign your own petition. As Libertarians we shouldn't be surprised by the complexity inherent in this government process - we've lost ballot access based on a technicality in the past.
- Petitions - Download the right petition here.
- Rules & Instructions - Please, carefully review the Petitioning Rules and Instructions - they are important even in how the petitions must be printed!
- Voter Registration Forms - Residents of Ohio can register to vote or update their registration address when they sign the petitions but their registration form must be submitted to the local Board of Elections (B.O.E.) prior to when the petitions are signed. Voter Registration Form Download.
If you have any questions whatsoever, contact us or call Tim Smyth at 330-495-3878.