LP Blog:”Libertarian Votes Result in LP Having Ballot Access in 30 States”

The Libertarian Party reports on its blog:

“The 2012 elections were great for the Libertarian Party’s ballot access because of gains in several states, especially in North Carolina where the value of retaining party status, i.e., the petitioning cost that it will save the LP, is greater than all other gains and losses combined.”

Here is an overview of how the LP fared:
•Retained party status in Alaska, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, and Wyoming.
•Gained party status in DC, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
•Lost ballot access in Arkansas, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.
•Can run a candidate for US Senate in 2016 and the US House 2nd district in Connecticut in 2014 without petitioning
•Can continue to run statewide candidates in Georgia

The LP now has full ballot access in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

Source:http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/libertarian-votes-result-in-lp-having-ballot-access-in-30-states

54 thoughts on “LP Blog:”Libertarian Votes Result in LP Having Ballot Access in 30 States”

  1. Kleptocracy And You

    BRAVO! This is outstanding news for all Ls. IIRC we have wrote WV and DC off in past cycles and they and WI are now locked in for 2016. This money saved on Ballot Access can hopefully be used in GREAT ads which will help increase the LP Brand.

    Yes, overall a very GOOD cycle for the LP. I have a smile on my face. Each state and local LP, down to the local supper clubs, etc. need to take advantage of this and BUILD the LOCAL LP. This is doable, but we have to keep working at it year round!

    CARPE DIEM

    Big Government Is A Big Mistake – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=640

    Tweedle Mouse Pad – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=827

    What Happens in D.C. Should Stay in D.C. VOTE LIBERTARIAN! – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=828

    Recovering Democrat – http://www.lpstuff.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=830

    PS – Hope the LP will consider using sometime and space allowing a platform for all LP U.S.Senate candidate in ’12 to form a shadow Senate to comment on the major issues as they come up in ’13. They should also do this with the U.S.House LP candidates, allowing them to do the same. We know they have the correct answers to the serious problems facing us. Give them an official LP blog or somewhere to continue their efforts to save our future. Hopefully others will learn from their insight!

    GROW the LP!

  2. John C Jackson

    How is this compared to the normal results and aftermath of an election? In other words, after 2008 ( or 2010?), How many states were gained/retained or lost?

  3. Andy

    “John C Jackson // Nov 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    How is this compared to the normal results and aftermath of an election? In other words, after 2008 ( or 2010?), How many states were gained/retained or lost?”

    This is the best ballot retention post election that the LP has had in a long time, maybe ever.

    Something to keep in mind, is that not all states have a vote retention test to maintain ballot access, and out of the ones that do, some of them are complicated. Also, some of them are only good for one additional election, as in the vote test will get you ballot access in 2014 but not in 2016 (to get ballot access in 2016 in these states, you’d have to meet a vote retention test in 2014).

    Now is NOT the time for the Libertarian Party to rest on its laurels though. The gains made in this election could easily be lost if preparation for the 2014 and 2016 elections does not start as soon as possible. Building the party and movement is a lot of hard work and it is a long process and that’s all there is to it.

  4. paulie

    The blog was only listing the states that had changed, not ones that had and continue to have access all along, unaffected by the election. I’ll try to get a list if no one else posts it.

  5. paulie

    Takes 4% for Governor in NH, that was always a long shot.

    And FSP has little to do with it. LP did not get on the ballot at all there in 2004 or 2006. FSP is only a few hundred people and many of them don’t even like the LP.

  6. Darryl W. Perry

    The LP spent nearly $20,000 to get on the ballot – then needed 4% to retain ballot access. Several prominent FSPers endorsed Ovide Lamontagne because they felt he had the “best chance” of winning and was “better” than Maggie Hassan. Also, some FSPers don’t like John Babiarz because of something he did as Fire Chief in Grafton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3FgzRULJPo

  7. paulie

    Heinous!

    But I don’t think it accounted for an extra 50% difference in his vote.

    I think there were larger factors, such as not more candidates running as big L up and down the ballot, close race in that state between Omni and Robomba suppressing to some degree all big L votes (less so downticket, but still) and so on.

  8. Ted Brown

    I was pleased to see the West Virginia result, as my native state had never given a candidate for governor the necessary 1% before. This time David Moran won 1.3%. My mom (who lives in Wheeling) is a lifelong Democrat and voted for Obama. I convinced her to vote for Moran and explained why this would be a good thing. She also promised to ask her elderly lady friends to do the same. Every little bit helps.

  9. David

    Remember too, that all those folks from Mass are moving up to NH. Those folks tend to be liberal. MT should have been the free state. Their percentages for statewide office look pretty good. Pres-2.90%, US Senate-6.53%, US House 4.01%, Gov-3.72%, SOS-3.54% and Clerk of Supree CT-42.95% We need to grow the LP so that those numbers increase and we become more competitive in future elections.

  10. Melty

    @2 I know that Wisconsin was lost in 2008. Ballot access in Wisconsin, though, is not very hard. Lovely to see the big L back on.

  11. Richard Winger

    I would not list New Hampshire as a state in which the LP “lost” party status. The law defines “party” as a group that polled 4% for either Governor or US Senator. The blog author must have considered that the LP was a “party” before the November 2012 election because the party did the party petition. But under NH law, just doing the party petition doesn’t make that group a party. If it were a party, people could have registered into the LP during the latter half of 2012, but they were not permitted to do that.

  12. George Phillies

    @7 The LPNH has been running the same person for Governor (with two exceptions) every two years for the last decade and a half. The outcome has not shown progress. There was an enormous this year, in that the Republicans ran a Crhistian Reactionary antiabortionist, anti—list of Christian Reactionary hot button issues, but that opportunity had to be taken vigorously.

  13. George Phillies

    @13 You are right. People who move from Massachusetts tend to be social libertarians, moving to the New England state that legalized gay marriage via act of the legislature rather than judicial enforcement of the bill of rights.

  14. George Phillies

    Coming back on topic, Massachusetts also maintained ballot accessibility — in 2014 we can get candidates on the ballot as Libertarians. Of course, we have been able to do this continuously since the 1980s, sometimes with a bigger challenge than other times.

    This election has no direct effect on the 2016 Presidential ballot access.

  15. Richard Winger

    Concerning Massachusetts, a state legislator, Dan Winslow, plans to introduce some bills to improve ballot access. It is likely his bills will include one to make it easier for members of qualified parties to get on their own party’s primary ballot. Winslow is a Republican and even Republicans suffer in Massachusetts, from the current law that makes it difficult for qualified parties to run candidates in their own primary. If such bills pass, that would make it far more attractive for the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts to want to be a qualified party.

  16. paulie

    Winslow is a Republican and even Republicans suffer in Massachusetts, from the current law that makes it difficult for qualified parties to run candidates in their own primary.

    Very true. I worked with a Ron Paul Republican who was the only candidate seeking his party’s nomination for Congress in his district, and he had a tough time getting enough signatures.

  17. James

    I believe I have asked this question somewhere before, and it is only loosely based on the topic at hand, but why are the Libertarian Party’s dues a one-shot payment, rather than an annual one? From what I can gather, there is only a small, significant but small, core of donors that finance the party, while the grand majority of members do not; many may help with volunteer work, I’ll admit that, but just about everything requires money in some capacity, and if you don’t have it, your dead in the water.

    To me, it seems sensible given you will have that many more resources at your disposal. At the same time however, I am sure there are factors involved that have not crossed my mind.

  18. Nick Kruse

    “•Gained party status in DC, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
    •Lost ballot access in Arkansas, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.”

    Correct me if I am wrong on this, but if we lost 4 states and gained three, wouldn’t that be a net loss of 1 state? I could have misread that, but I think the article is saying we have a net loss.

  19. Andy

    “James // Nov 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I believe I have asked this question somewhere before, and it is only loosely based on the topic at hand, but why are the Libertarian Party’s dues a one-shot payment, rather than an annual one?”

    You’ve obviously missed something, because membership dues to the Libertarian Party are annual.

  20. paulie

    Correct me if I am wrong on this, but if we lost 4 states and gained three, wouldn’t that be a net loss of 1 state? I could have misread that, but I think the article is saying we have a net loss.

    It does make it seem that way, but we actually have better ballot access than ever before coming out of an election.

    It’s more complicated than this and I’m trying to figure out if the baseline is 2008, 2010 or what.

    I’m going over the details offline now and hopefully when I’m done I can explain it better.

  21. paulie

    You’ve obviously missed something, because membership dues to the Libertarian Party are annual.

    It may be that we don’t always make this clear enough, so some people may not realize they have only paid for one year and that they have to renew?

  22. Richard Winger

    #32, does that mean that you are opposed to easing ballot access to the primary ballot? I don’t think “nonsense” is something a ballot access activist would say about a bill to improve things. Massachusetts is the only state outside of the south in which a majority of state legislative seats regularly have only one person on the ballot in November.

  23. Richard Winger

    The most objective way to compare ballot status after a presidential election for any particular party is to compare its status the day after the November 2012 election, to its status the day after the November 2008 election. The Libertarian Party is now better off (using that method) in Alaska, DC, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, South Dakota, and West Virginia. It is worse off in Hawaii and Massachusetts. George Phillies will dispute my saying “worse off”, because he and I disagree on whether having party status in Massachusetts is valuable or harmful. But, objectively, the LP was a qualified party the day after the November 2008 election in Massachusetts and Hawaii, and it isn’t now. So the loss of 2 states is more than balanced by the gain of DC and 6 states.

  24. paulie

    On Sun, Nov 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM, Bob Johnston wrote:
    Paul,

    The states where we have full ballot access are:

    1. AK

    2. AZ

    3. CA

    4. CO

    5. DC

    6. DE

    7. FL

    8. ID

    9. IN

    10. KS

    11. LA

    12. MI

    13. MD

    14. MO

    15. MS

    16. MT

    17. NC

    18. NE

    19. NM

    20. NV

    21. OH

    22. OR

    23. SC

    24. SD

    [p: South Dakota is not on the “already on” lists at BAN for 2008 or 2010 and it’s not on the retained list or gained list at http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/libertarian-votes-result-in-lp-having-ballot-access-in-30-states. BTW are we using 2008 or 2010 as our baseline? ]

    25. TX

    26. UT

    27. VT

    28. WA

    [p: I think that one’s kind of iffy….they still have top two and they still need a 1,000 valid signature “convention” for president as far as I know, and I believe they have no voter registration by party. I also seem to recall that unlike CA, on their top two ballot people can make up pretty much whatever term they want to describe themselves as long as it’s not too long or too obscene. IE “prefers Libertarian” “prefers Monarchy” “prefers Beer”…. is that not correct? ]

    29. WI

    30. WV

    31. WY

    Should be 30 states plus DC.

    Can also run statewide candidates in GA.

    Can run a US Senate candidate in CT in 2016 and a US House (2nd c/d) candidate in 2014 in CT without petitioning.

    Bob

    P: How many of these states are good through 2014 and how many are good through 2016?

    How many of the other states can we start on for 2016 now or next year?

    —————

    Paul,

    Haven’t had the time yet to determine that.

    I will have the full information for 2014 and 2016 for the upcoming LNC meeting.

    And I always have Richard check over everything before I send it out.

    Bob

  25. Andy

    “2. AZ”

    I don’t think that the Libertarian Party is qualified for the ballot in every county in Arizona. They are qualified to run state wide candidates, and they are qualified in most of the counties, but I think that there’s a few of the less populated counties where they do not have ballot access to run candidates for local and district offices in those counties (at least this was the situation there a few years ago, if it has changed and they now have every county in the state I’m not aware of that).

  26. Richard Winger

    The Arizona Libertarian Party is ballot-qualified for all state and federal office. But for county partisan office, there are extra requirements that the party probably doesn’t meet in some counties.

  27. Andy

    “Richard Winger // Nov 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    The Arizona Libertarian Party is ballot-qualified for all state and federal office. But for county partisan office, there are extra requirements that the party probably doesn’t meet in some counties.”

    I thought that it also included races for the state legislature and US House in the counties where they are not a ballot qualified party (as in they couldn’t run for those district offices in those counties).

  28. Mark Axinn

    As Richard and I have discussed off-line, a few states such as mine are unaffected by their local totals for President. In New York, only the Governor’s race determines ballot status; we needed 50,000 votes for Governor two years ago to have automatic ballot access for four years and just missed it by less than 1700 votes (our closest ever).

    Gary Johnson could have gotten 1,000,000 votes in New York last week and we still would not have ballot access without petitioning as an independent body. As it turns out, Johnson’s numbers in the second bluest of blue states (Hawaii has us beat) were terrific, several multiples of our results from Bergland to Barr, exceeded only in 1980 by the Koch-financed Clark campaign.

  29. James

    #28 & #30 – Andy is right, though the section may need to be reworded to specify that such membership would expire after a year and you would need to reapply; in its present form it simply states that you gain membership, but not its duration or conditions. Annual dues are also there, but are only mentioned in the section detailing Lifetime Membership.

  30. Michael H. Wilson

    Paulie is right at 35. Washington will need 1000 signatures to get on the ballot if they don’t change the law. We also get to pick the name of our party. I am thinking of using Lib. Democratic. One guy a couple of elections ago picked “Salmon Yoga Party”.

  31. paulie

    James

    I think you may be mixing up two different things. It would help if you link to what you are talking about.

    There’s a free membership which you get just by signing the pledge. Once you sign it, you’re done – no need to renew, and you only stop being a member if you pro-actively take the step of formally revoking your signature and making sure that the party gets a record of that.

    Then there’s the annual dues paying or “sustaining” membership. That does have to be renewed every year, unless you pay for a significantly more expensive lifetime sustaining membership as I did for $1,000 in the year 2000. It is possible that there is somewhere that people pay these dues where it does not make clear that they need to renew, but that portion may be referring to the pledge signing.

  32. paulie

    With a donation of $25 or more you will become a member of the LP and will receive a customized membership card. Also included is a full, one-year subscription to LP News, the Libertarian Party’s newspaper. Complete this form to activate your membership.

    You may also choose to become a life member of the Libertarian Party with a donation of $1,000 or more. Life membership entitles you to a lifetime subscription to LP News and ensures that even if annual dues are raised in the future, your membership will still remain active.

    Clever phrasing.

    With a donation of less than $25, or nothing at all, you still become a life member of the party, but receive no newsletter or various other benefits of membership.

    The life membership makes you a life member WITH those benefits.

    Since the party needs money to survive, and receiving a year of LP News and a membership card may not be seen as a benefit worth $25 by many new members, it is phrased in such a way so to make as many new members as possible donate at least 25 dollars. They can then be hit up for additional donations throughout the year and a renewal notice at the end of a year.

    It does say “a full, one-year subscription” so no one is lying, although the language intentionally sweeps under the rug that you can still become a member without the 25.00 minimum donation, or with no donation at all, you just don’t get a membership card and a newsletter.

  33. James

    Paulie

    So it is a case of Sly Advertising? Clever, but not something I would have expected.

    Still, my point somewhat stands; one should be able to become a member with the standard benefits, but there be a required $25 annual due to maintain their membership. Its similar to the Monthly Pledge in a way, but with that the minimum still equates to $120 annually, and mandating that would be a bridge too far.

    At the same time, at least it would be more honest. :p

    I estimated that the annual dues would bring in ~$7 million, which I could see as nothing more than a boon for a Party which is used to working with much smaller figures; only reason I am arguing for it, and hoping it takes.

  34. paulie

    You are assuming that everyone who is willing to donate 25.00 would be willing to donate 120.00?

    I kind of doubt that.

    We may come out ahead, where we are now, or even less money. Hard to say unless we tried it.

    I would propose increasing it to 50.00, which would just be where it was when we made it 25.00, adjusted for inflation. Even there we would lose some people, but I don’t know how many.

    “Still, my point somewhat stands; one should be able to become a member with the standard benefits, but there be a required $25 annual due to maintain their membership. ”

    That’s what we have.

    You can either be

    A member with no benefits for as long as you want

    A member with benefits for 25.00 or more a year

    or

    A member with benefits for life for 1,000.00 (due to go up at the end of the year.

    This is currently bringing 1-1.5 million per year.

    The language being sly is just a way to partially obscure the first option while technically letting you know it exists. It does so by conflating two things – membership, which does not expire, and benefits, which do.

  35. paulie

    There might be a plan like that, or the beginnings of one, but unfortunately, I’m not allowed to say yet whether the plan exists or any details. Secrecy fetishes grrrrrr.

  36. James

    Paulie

    No, that’s not what I meant at all; rather the opposite where I do not believe they would be willing. Sorry if I muddled my language a little bit.

    And again, sorry if I muddled my language here as well, but I meant eliminate Option A, though on perusing that seems to be an ill choice. What I am thinking is a standard annual membership fee, set at the old annual rate from the 80’s and 90’s at $15; with benefits (the paper and the card) it is still the standard $25.

    So, essentially, there is no longer a “free” option. Everyone has to contribute a little.

  37. paulie

    I doubt that would bring in much revenue. The people who don’t even come up with 25 per year don’t get any communications from the party (except possibly the email list, which is overlapping but separate, and does not require signing the pledge). In many cases they have long since forgotten that they have ever signed the LP pledge, or wouldn’t do so again, but see no point in trying to revoke their signature, or even that they would need to do so because they are still listed somewhere as LP members. Some of them are in fact dead but party records have not been updated to reflect that. We don’t really try to keep track of them, as that would expend resources. Many no longer have whatever contact info we had for them, so trying to get a hold of all of them would probably lose money (it’s been tried in several states and has always lost money that I know of).

    The existence of those free members could serve some kind of propaganda purpose, but we rarely ever talk about it.

    So – it basically brings no benefit or loss to the LP, it’s basically just an obscure fact created by party bylaws and tradition.

    It does allow a small number of ornery people to consider themselves LP members without paying anything, with the hopes that every once in a while some of them may change their minds and pay. That’s about it.

  38. Andy

    “What I am thinking is a standard annual membership fee, set at the old annual rate from the 80?s and 90?s at $15; with benefits (the paper and the card) it is still the standard $25.”

    I think that Libertarian Party membership dues ought to be increased due to inflation, and Libertarians of all people should understand inflation.

    I’m also in favor of bringing back the UMP plan where some of the money from the dues to LP National went back to the state parties. It is simply easier from most people’s point of view to write out one check or to make one credit card donation to pay their membership dues, rather than having to write out one check or make one credit card donation to LP National, and then do it again for their state party, and a lot of members of the party – especially newer members – don’t even think that they should make a donation to their state party. Having all of the money go to LP National means that the state parties have less money and then they have to go beg the national party for money, and all this does is add another layer of bureaucracy.

  39. James

    Maybe then it would be best to first establish a database with all the currently active members (have the State Chapters do it; the compiled lists would then form a National list), and have the State Chapters try and keep in contact with them in some capacity, at least so as to keep tabs on their status regarding the Party.

    The current register, does it only include those who had taken the pledge, or does it include all registered Libertarians?

    The UMP plan sounds like a good idea, if executed properly.

Leave a Reply