Ohio Secretary of State Removes Libertarian Party Statewide Candidates from the Libertarian Primary Ballot

On March 7, at the end of the business day, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted revealed that he has removed the Libertarian Party statewide candidates from the party’s primary ballot, including the gubernatorial candidate, Charlie Earl.

Apparently the basis was that the paid petitioner who collected the signatures didn’t fill out the part of the circulator form identifying his employer.

Although Ohio permits write-in votes in primaries, the deadline for anyone to file as a declared write-in candidate for the May 4 primary was 72 days before that primary, or February 23, so it is too late for the Libertarians to find anyone else to run for Governor in their primary. The deadline had been 60 days until 2010, when it was moved to 72 days.

With no gubernatorial candidate on the November ballot, the party will lose its status as a qualified party. The law requires a vote of 2% for the party to remain on the ballot. The party plans to challenge the March 7 ruling in federal court on due process grounds. UPDATE: see this story, which provides more details.


Ohio Secretary of State Removes Libertarian Party Statewide Candidates from the Libertarian Primary Ballot — 12 Comments

  1. There are lots of rules to watch in a successful ballot drive. There are a thousand land mines in ballot access that can blow up in your face.

  2. Wow, they really don’t want ANY third parties on the ballot in Ohio!


  3. The Ohio LP should start a formal boycott campaign. Spend some time and money encouraging people to stay home on election day. If Ohio isn’t going to allow actual elections then the LP should call them on it.

  4. What a completely botched effort from the Ohio LP — a total clusterf**k.

  5. They only needed 500 valid signatures for a statewide race and it required bringing in last-minute outside help? WTF indeed!

  6. You should consider that the normal petitioning period for primary candidates (which can start as early as the candidate wishes) was short-circuited because the parties didn’t know if they were going to have a primary until they won the lawsuit on January 7, 2014. By then the weather was horrible. And the petitions were due in early February.

  7. Thanks Greg. But this really is a blessing, I have never been part of a campaign where we are getting this much positive media…and it’s only March.


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