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Ballot access bill progresses in West Virginia

From the Libertarian Party of West Virginia

As many of you have heard lately, the LPWV has endorsed HB 2981 and Mr. Britch and Mr. Harris of the LPWV Executive Committee along with LNC chair Bill Redpath have made trips to Charleston over the past few months to lobby on behalf of this bill. We’ve worked hard, and it’s paid off - the bill has passed in the house. Now the hard work begins, though. The bill has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. We need your help now to fund further lobbying efforts on behalf of this bill. If passed, this bill will save the Libertarian Party literally tens of thousands of dollars every four years.

Here’s the low-down. Right now, it takes a number of signatures equal to 2% of the number of voters who voted for a given office in the previous election, to get someone on the ballot for that office in an upcoming election. Let’s say 750,000 people in WV voted for President in 2004. That would mean that for 2008 ballot access for a presidential candidate, the LP and other minor party and independent candidates would need to collect 15,000 valid signatures to get on the presidential ballot in West Virginia’s general election. Add to that the number that will be invalidated, and you come up with a need for 20,000 - 30,000 total signatures. This is a huge burden on minor party and independent candidates in the state. What this bill would do is cut that down to 1%. This means that in the above hypothetical scenario, only 7,500 valid signatures would be needed. In terms of dollars and cents, this is a savings of tens of thousands of dollars per 4-year election cycle for the Libertarian Party of West Virginia. Beyond that, this bill will also bump the filing deadline for those petitions to August 1st for gubernatorial candidates. Currently, that deadline is much earlier, while the deadline for presidential candidates is August 1st. This bill creates a single filing deadline of August 1st for all petitions for ballot access in the state.

So I’m asking for your help. We need funds to continue our lobbying efforts and ensure passage of this bill in the WV State Senate. The donation link on our website at lpwv.org will allow you to contribute online via Donor Town Square (a Libertarian-owned company.) If you’d prefer, you can also mail a check or money order payable to LPWV to PO Box 4428 Star City, WV 26504. Thank you so much for any help you can provide!

If the bill does not pass in the senate, we’re back to square one on this issue next session. West Virginia has been called the second most difficult state for ballot access per capita in the US. Don’t let this incredible opportunity to make the WV ballot access process more fair slip by. Support the LPWV today!

The LPWV extends thanks to Matt Harris, Bill Redpath, Tad Britch, and Rebeka Baird for generously donating their time to lobby over the past several months!