Libertarian candidates win fight for ballot access in Connecticut

Ellen and Roger Misbach

From MyRecordJournal.com on October 14, 2019:

Libertarian candidates Roger and Ellen Misbach settled a lawsuit against the Secretary of the State and their names will appear on the [Meriden] November mayoral and City Council ballot.

Roger Misbach sued the Secretary of the State’s office and Secretary Denise Merrill for denying ballot access to the Misbachs over filing requirements. The parties settled the matter the day before an Oct. 10 court hearing.

Roger Misbach will appear on the ballot as the Libertarian Party’s mayoral candidate and Ellen Misbach as the City Council Area 4 candidate.

A post on the Meriden Libertarians’ Facebook page thanks the state “for doing what parties ought to in litigation — try and resolve their differences.”

The husband and wife were originally named as placeholder candidates for the purposes of generating enough signatures to meet the state’s filing deadlines, according to the lawsuit. Third parties often run placeholder candidates to allow time to get signatures before a party’s nominating convention, they said.

After submitting the required number of signatures to petition for a spot on the ballot in August, the state Libertarian Party nominated its candidates: Roger Misbach for mayor and Ellen Misbach as a City Council candidate in Area 4.

According to the lawsuit, the party sent the Secretary of the State’s office notification of its slate of candidates after the convention and before the Sept. 4 deadline. But the information did not match the earlier placeholder information and the state denied them ballot access over the discrepancy.

The lawsuit outlined the difficulties third parties face to gain ballot access, calling the petition process “arcane and outdated.” Candidates can’t use online resources and must seek invasive personal information from signers. The process poses an arbitrary burden and cost on town clerks and election officials and introduces unnecessary and costly delays into all steps of the electoral process, the lawsuit stated.

“The delay impedes and obstructs press coverage, access to debates and fundraising because it is unknown until mid-September whether or not a candidate has qualified for the ballot,” according to the lawsuit.

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