A federal judge has ruled against the Libertarian Party in Maine in a case that centered on the party’s argument that the path to a new political party in Maine is unconstitutionally difficult. An attorney for the Libertarians said the court misunderstood what the plaintiffs were asking for and that he will ask the court to reconsider its ruling.
The law for a new party to get candidates on the ballot was changed by the state legislature a coupld of years ago to require 5,000 registered voters. The party has one year to register the voters, and the registrations were due last December 1. The Maine LP submitted over 6,400 registrations last December, but more than 2,000 were rejected.
According to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News, “The judge appears to have completely missed the point that the Maine Libertarian Party wasn’t asking for a primary. In many other ballot lawsuits, courts found ballot access laws for new parties unconstitutional, but made the decision too late for a primary for that party; so the judges let such parties nominate by convention instead. The U.S. Supreme Court made such a ruling in 1968, when it put the American Independent Party on the ballot in Ohio even though it was too late to give the party a primary. At the time, the Ohio law said all parties nominate by primary.”
Click here to read the article in the Bangor Daily News.