The New Hampshire Libertarian Party’s position on whether to participate in a proposed lawsuit on substitution is not clear. I have just arrived home from a vacation and this evening, it is too late for me to telephone any New Hampshire Libertarian Party officials.
New Hampshire ballot access is far worse than most people realize. The Green Party has only succeeded in getting on the New Hampshire ballot statewide once, in 2000. The Natural Law Party failed in both 1996 and 2000 in New Hampshire. The Constitution Party failed in both 2004 and 2008 in New Hampshire. The Libertarian Party failed for president in two states in 2004, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. Also, in 2006, the Libertarian Party had only two statewide petition failures, Alabama and New Hampshire.
New Hampshire’s legislature has been very hostile to minor party and independent candidate ballot access. Many bills to improve the law have been introduced during the past ten years, but none of them passed in either House. The Secretary of State is hostile, and the legislature will not approve any election law change that he opposes.
The best way to persuade a state legislature to improve ballot access laws is to win a lawsuit against one of the ballot access laws. The New Hampshire policy forbidding substitution can probably be defeated in court, if the New Hampshire Libertarian Party will help that effort. New Hampshire is one of only two states which has never had any ballot access law declared unconstitutional. A winning lawsuit on substitution could be the key to winning additional ballot access reform in New Hampshire. The substitution lawsuit is an opportunity that should not be wasted.