Ohio Libertarian Party Files Strong New Legal Argument in Existing Federal Ballot Access Concerning Primary Ballot Access for its Statewide Nominees

On the evening of March 6, the Ohio Libertarian Party filed this strong motion for a preliminary injunction, to prevent the state from printing Libertarian primary ballots without the gubernatorial and attorney general candidates’ names. The party didn’t need to file a new lawsuit; it is relying on the fact that its original 2013 federal case is still open. That case is Libertarian Party of Ohio v Husted, southern district, 2:13cv-953.

The brief mentions previous Ohio Secretary of State rulings, and opinions of Ohio state courts, that just because a circulator doesn’t identify his or her employer is not reason to invalidate the petitions. Even past Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a Republican who invalidated the Libertarian Party’s 2004 petition because the wording on the petition didn’t match the statutory language, had ruled, “Do not invalidate a part-petition if the employer information…is blank or incomplete.” The brief also makes a case that it is unconstitutional in any event to force circulators to identify their employers, or to treat paid circulators differently than volunteer circulators.

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