Steve G.

LP Ballot Access update: 42 states; LP passed by Nader

In Libertarian on September 10, 2008 at 7:29 am

LP-specific ballot access chart is here:

I’ve taken Richard Winger’s comprehensive ballot access chart and extracted and reorganized the information relevant to the LP.

Of note:

  • LA is in dispute because of a late filing. Story here.
  • The MA and NH suits are both over substitution. NH currently has both Barr and Phillies listed; MA has only Phillies.
  • Nader passed the LP in number of states where he is on the ballot (43).
  1. The MA and NH suits are both over substitution. NH currently has both Barr and Phillies listed; MA has only Phillies.

    This is inaccurate.

    The MA suit is indeed about substitution, but requires electors to agree to pledge their faith to Bob Barr instead of George Phillies. If the electors are unwilling to make that commitment, then Phillies remains on the ballot. The collection of signatures was to confirm electors, not confirm candidates. The present suit is over whether or not the state will allow those electors to change their minds to support Barr — and if they don’t, then Phillies’ name stays.

    The suit in NH is not about substitution at all. It’s about the removal of a duly-nominated candidate from the ballot who collected sufficient signatures to get on the ballot at the behest of another candidate. This clearly violates Phillies’ rights under both the NH constitution and the US constitution. It’s no different than if a Democrat or Republican files to remove a Libertarian from the ballot utterly so their candidate is running unopposed.

    Also, to my knowledge, no suit has actually been filed in New Hampshire, only threatened. I suspect this is because the LNC and its associated entities lack the financial resources to effectively prosecute the suit. I am confident that voters in at least one state — NH — will have a real Libertarian ticket to vote for in November.

  2. There are eight weeks to the election. I suggest Mr. Phillies get out there in New Hampshire and start campaigning – spend as much time as he can, too. Then the Party simply add his total to Barr’s total after the election and state that the Libertarian presidential vote was X. Let’s stop obsessing over the candidate’s name and build the vote for the Libertarians.
    Hardly anyone will give a damn by next year anyway – only the vote total is important.

  3. As of this writing there is no NH suit. Barr and I are both on the ballot. I have been campaigning in New Hampshire, using the methods that I deem effective, since it became clear that I was on the ballot, and that was some time ago.

  4. I await Susan’s explanation of how removing George from the ballot — when Barr is already on the ballot — is “substitution.”

    She certainly seems opinionated on others mistakes, after all!

  5. I’m off to Louisiana in a few minutes for another candidate who is attempting a late filing.

    If the Barr people need someone to run around, get forms from electors and deliver them to the state office, call Mark Pickens at 720-318-8297. We will not have internet.

    If anyone wants to communicate this info to Barr HQ, LA LP, LPHQ, or whoever needs to be contacted, go ahead and have them call us. If they don’t call us, it’s all good.

  6. Note that Barr’s conduct today in bailing on the Ron Paul thing doesn’t improve my opinion of him…

    I’m not a Barr fan, and frankly hope he gets his ass handed to him on election day. (in hopes that this will teach the LP that nominating a non-libertarian is not a wise move) By that standard his reported “Up yours” treatment of the Pauloids is something I should cheer, as I’m sure it will have negative repercussions.

    But I guess I’m not that mean spirited, or perhaps I just don’t like seeing stupidity in action… But a candidate shouldn’t blow it like that – Deliberately ignoring a chance to reach out to the large number of RP voters, regardless of what one might think of them as a group, is really STUPID – and I don’t think we need stupid people in the White House…


  7. As an update – and ENM may want to break it into a separate thread – I reached a final decision tonight after Barr’s fiasco w/ the RP folks tonight… If I have anything to say about it, Bob Barr will NOT be on the ballot in Mass.

    I have sent the following e-mail to the Mass. Secretary of State’s office, and the attorneys on our side of the Mass. substitution case…

    Signed by Show Details
    To whom it may concern;

    I am one of the Presidential Elector Candidates for the Libertarian Party of
    Massachusetts (LPMA). As such I feel that it is necessary and appropriate
    that I express my feelings concerning the ongoing litigation concerning the
    right of the LPMA to substitute the names of the National Libertarian Party
    nominees for President and Vice President for those of George Phillies and
    Chris Bennet whose names currently appear on the LPMA petitions for the

    I wish it to be known that as a Presidential Elector Candidate, while I
    support the RIGHT of the LPMA and it’s electors to make a substitution, I am
    no longer willing to do so in the case of Bob Barr and Wayne Allen Root. I
    will NOT pledge to vote for Barr / Root in the event that their ticket wins
    the vote in Mass. and I will NOT sign any agreement to authorize the
    substitution of their names on for those of Phillies / Bennet on the
    presidential ballot.

    This decision is due to actions taken by the Barr / Root campaign subsequent
    to this litigation being filed and, in my opinion, does not impact the basic
    facts of this case. While it is very true that there are considerable
    differences between Barr / Root and Phillies / Bennet as the Secretary of
    State alleges in the defense document, this is properly a matter for the
    members of the Libertarian Party to decide, not the Secretary.

    I firmly believe that the basic circumstances of the case, which are that the
    LPMA initiated its petition drive with Phillies / Bennet under the advice of
    the Secretary of States Office that *IF* the LPMA desired to make a
    substitution, then this would be permitted. It is manifestly unfair for the
    Secretary’s office to change the “rules of the game” in the middle of the
    petitioning process.

    As both a voter and taxpayer I would pray that, while I do not support
    substitution in THIS instance, the Court will see fit to rule that the
    electors have the right to substitute a candidate if they so choose, and
    direct the Secretary of State to develop fair and consistent rules for doing
    so. This would help to avoid the trouble and expense of future litigation on
    this topic.

    Thank you,


    Arthur Torrey
    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    LPMA Presidential Elector, who will NOT vote for Barr!
    Town Meeting Representative
    Speaking only as myself unless otherwise indicated!
    GPG key: C02F53C5
    Fingerprint: 7D31 C4B5 7DEE 22FD 8C07 D76F A832 933F C02F 53C5

    End of signed message

    As it says, while I hope that we will secure the right of substitution in future cases, I will NOT agree to substitute Bob Barr for George Phillies in this election.

    LPMA Presidential Elector, NOT substituting Barr!
    Speaking for myself

  8. In 2004, one of the Republican presidential elector candidates in West Virginia, Richard Robb (Mayor of South Charleston) announced to the press that if he were elected, he would vote for Kerry, not Bush. That action did not cause Bush to be removed from the West Virginia ballot. After the election, Robb did vote for Bush.

    Similarly, in 1948, two of the Tennessee Democratic electors said they would vote for Thurmond, not Truman. They were elected. One then voted for Truman, one voted for Thurmond. But their public statements did not have any effect on the Tennessee ballot.

    The real constitutional protection is given to state political parties to choose their candidates. See Cal. Dem. Party v Jones, and New York State Board of Elections v Lopez-Torres, unanimous decisions from the US Supreme Court in this decade.

  9. A couple of points Richard –

    1. Unlike Republicans and Democrats, I think windshield wipers belong on cars, so I don’t do flip-flops…

    2. While you have expertise on the subject of ballot access in general, my expectation based on earlier experience with substitution in the Mass. Governors race, is that the Presidential Elector candidates will UNANIMOUSLY need to approve any petition name changes – As an elector, I will NOT… (and I suspect that I am not the only one, just the most vocal)

    3. Remember that the LP is NOT a political “party” in Mass, we are a “designation” which means that we basically are treated like a PAC – Thus your cites may not apply. Even if they do, I am also on the LPMA State Committee, and again I will vote against substitution, and I feel reasonably sure that there are enough members on the State Committee (who are also electors) to prevent a substitution motion from passing…

    LPMA Operations Facilitator
    LPMA Presidential Elector – NOT substituting Barr!

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