Toledo Blade: Recognize the Libertarians

From an editorial in the Toledo Blade on December 14:toledo-blade

“In the wake of former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson’s presidential run, the Ohio Libertarian Party is seeking state recognition and ballot access to make it easier to run candidates. The Libertarians seek to join the Republicans, Democrats, and Greens on Ohio’s ballots.

“Ohio law says ‘any group’ can become a recognized political party through a petition process. And if a group’s candidate for president or governor breaks 3 percent, it gets recognition for four years. Ohio’s Libertarians are circulating petitions, but they’re also seeking recognition through the 3 percent rule.

“State party chairman Scott Pettigrew argues that Governor Johnson broke 3 percent, and the committee of voters that placed the national Libertarian Party’s nominee on Ohio’s ballots as an independent candidate — a committee of which Mr. Pettigrew was a member — is now seeking recognition as a party.

“‘Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office hasn’t officially responded’, spokesman Joshua Eck said. But Mr. Eck said the 3 percent rule only applies to existing parties: You renew party status that way; you don’t gain it.

“‘Meanwhile, the party is working on candidates for governor in 2018 and for partisan races across Ohio’, Mr. Pettigrew said. But it must focus on the governor’s race, he said, in order to break 3 percent and keep recognition for another four years.

“The Libertarians are entitled to recognition as a party. Mr. Pettigrew is right: The law says ‘any group.’ Mr. Johnson didn’t carry the Libertarian label in Ohio, but he was placed on the ballot by a group of Libertarians, and he got in excess of 3 percent of the vote — he got 3.2 percent, or 174,498 votes.

“Fair is fair.”