Thursday, September 6, 2012

GOP Suing to Keep Third Parties Off Ballot in November

The New American
September 6, 2012



GOP Suing to Keep Third Parties Off Ballot in November
Around the country, the Republican Party is mounting legal challenges to keep third-party candidates off the ballot in November.
Writer Karl Dickey reports in the Examiner that “in recent weeks, with the full support and legal assistance of the Republican Party, [Gary] Johnson's ballot status has been challenged in Michigan, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Iowa and now Ohio." Gary Johnson (pictured) is the former governor of New Mexico and the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president of the United States. As of this writing, Johnson is on the ballot in 43 states.
On September 1 the Ohio voters challenging Johnson’s appearance on the November ballot officially withdrew their opposition. In the one-page notice filed with the office of Ohio’s secretary of state, Kelly Mills and Cynthia Rees did not explain their decision to drop their protest.
It could be related to the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision handed down on August 31 dismissing the Ohio state legislature’s appeal of a U.S. district court ruling putting the Libertarian Party on the ballot for 2012.
The national Republican Party may not want to publicly acknowledge the presence of a true fiscal conservative in this race, but they are certainly taking Gov. Johnson seriously enough to engage in a concerted campaign to get his name off ballots in key states before voters even get a chance to vote.
In states across the nation, Republican operatives, lawyers, and in some cases, elected officials, are filing frivolous challenges to Governor Johnson's ballot status. They know that even if their challenges fail, fending them off is a drain on our resources and a distraction from the real issues in this campaign. We don't have hundreds of millions of dollars to throw around, nor do we have the Republicans' endless supply of lawyers.
We have dealt with many challenges in this campaign from the major parties, who clearly don't want voters to have a viable third option in this election, but this attack on voting rights and democracy is over the top.
Governor Johnson has made it clear that we will fight every one of these challenges and do everything in our power to be on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The prospect of a successful two-term governor who is a proven fiscal conservative and champion of social tolerance may be a thorn in the sides of the two so-called major parties, but Governor Johnson will not be deterred in his effort to give voters a real choice in November.
Despite the frustration such legal wrangling must cause the Johnson campaign, they were likely pleased by the decision announced late last week to allow Johnson’s name to appear on the ballot in Iowa.
Two Iowa voters had challenged his candidacy last week and Jay Kramer, a Romney campaign staffer, signed as a witness the challenge that Libertarians' convention at the Iowa State Fair wasn't real.
Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz, Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller, and Warren Jenkins, the chief deputy for Republican Auditor David Vaudt, said Iowa's law on holding conventions to get on the ballot is vague and they opted to err on the side of open ballot access, the AP reported.
Johnson reportedly told the Washington Times that he will be the only third-party candidate whose name will appear on the ballot in all 50 states.
Remarkably, this may be the case.

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