As the 2018 election gets underway, many state affiliates of the Libertarian Party are diligently gathering signatures to place their candidates on their state’s ballot and potentially secure ballot access for the future. Ballot access gained now can ensure that less resources have to be dedicated in 2020 to gathering signatures for the Party’s presidential ticket, and more of the budget can be dedicated to publicity and campaigning.
While the goal of these drives is always countrywide ballot access, it is not always possible to achieve that and unfortunately, this will not be possible in 2018. In a letter sent to LP members, Executive Director Wes Benedict states “We recently conceded that it just wasn’t feasible to do Alabama this year, and that was after two generous donors had already pledged $25,000 each if we were to go forward with Alabama. Some Alabama activists are going to attempt ballot access for a county or two (which requires far fewer signatures), but statewide ballot access for Alabama is not going to happen in 2018.”
This struggle is partially due to the special election for senate (that included controversial Republican Roy Moore) and Alabama’s strict access laws that contain the highest vote requirement for petitions and a 20% requirement in the previous election to remain on the ballot.
Benedict continues to explain that ballot access efforts are being pushed heavily in four states and $300,000 is dedicated to getting signatures in Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois and New York. Ohio has the most of the budget dedicated towards it due to the denial of ballot access in 2016 on a technicality.
Getting the LP on the ballot for the first time in Tennessee, and guaranteeing Larry Sharpe New York gubernatorial run is successful are also goals of the Party. Benedict believes “If Sharpe gets 50,000 votes in November, the LP New York will finally have ballot access without having to petition again every two years. […] I’m confident Larry can get well over 50,000 votes for Governor […].”
In order to donate to the Libertarian Party’s ballot access initiatives, click here.