The LP can potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2014 and 2016 – and countless volunteer hours – if Gov. Gary Johnson, Libertarian for President, and down-ticket Libertarian candidates meet state requirements to achieve ballot access.
A lot is at stake this November for the Libertarian Party.
Vote totals will not only elect candidates and show areas of growth. The LP will automatically gain ballot access in 18 states by meeting thresholds set by each state’s laws.
Rules vary greatly from state to state when it comes to recognizing parties other than the Democrats or Republicans. For example in Virginia, the party’s presidential candidate must receive 10% of the vote in the previous election – a very high threshold that few third party presidential candidates in the history of the United States have ever achieved. But in New Mexico, only half of one percent of the vote is needed.
The LP will win ballot access through 2014 if Libertarian for President, Gov. Gary Johnson, meets or exceeds these votes totals:
.5% – New Mexico
1% – Wisconsin
2% – Kentucky
2% – Iowa
2% – North Carolina
3% – Arkansas
3% – Massachusetts
5% – Maine
5% – Minnesota
5% – North Dakota
5% – Rhode Island
10% – Virginia
Rules vary for non-presidential races as well.
Connecticut treats ballot access on an office-by-office basis. If LP Presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson and Vice-Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray get 1% of the vote in Connecticut, it will give the 2016 Libertarian presidential nominee ballot access in 2016; likewise for other offices in Connecticut.
In DC, if Governor Johnson or the candidate for Delegate to the US House gets 7,500 votes, then ballot access is attained in DC for the first time in the party’s history.
In Georgia, if Governor Gary Johnson or any statewide candidate gets 1%, then statewide candidates can run without petitioning in 2014.
In Illinois, if Governor Johnson or any statewide candidate gets 5%, then statewide candidates there can run in 2014 without petitioning.
In Michigan, if Governor Johnson or any other candidate gets 16,083 votes, which is 1% of the votes cast for the successful 2010 Secretary of State, they retain ballot access.
For Nevada, Governor Johnson or any other candidate must get 1% of the votes cast for all of the 2012 Nevada US House candidates to retain ballot access.
If the New Hampshire gubernatorial candidates get 4%, then ballot access is attained through 2014.
In North Carolina, either the presidential or gubernatorial candidates must receive 2% of the vote to retain Libertarian ballot access through 2016.
In Utah, Governor Johnson or any other candidate must get 2% of the total votes cast for all of the 2012 Utah US House candidates to retain ballot access.
In West Virginia, if the gubernatorial candidate gets 1%, then the LP retains ballot access through 2016.
In Wyoming, if the US House candidate gets 2%, then ballot access is retained through 2014.
Libertarians can help by spreading the word to friends and relatives in these key states and asking them to vote Libertarian.
Thanks to Richard Winger, Publisher of Ballot Access News for contributing to this article.