Ohio Senate Votes to Ban Libertarian Party from 2014 Ohio Election

Found on the Libertarian Party of Ohio’s website

Libertarian party of ohio

Up-to-the-minute SB 193 news will appear here until further notice, so check back often

Latest SB 193 UPDATE:

COLUMBUS (Tue., Oct, 7 at 1 p.m.)

The Ohio Senate has passed SB 193, just a couple of hours after it made it out of committee.

A temporary setback signaling just how terrified they are of us Libertarians, and any other challenger party.

Next steps to be announced soon. Keep petitioning, keep moving forward.


What is SB 193?

SB 193 was introduced on Sep. 19 by Republican State Sentor Bill Seitz, ostensibly to provide election law for so-called “minor” parties in Ohio. The state has not had such a law since 2006, when a then-existing law was declared unconstituional in LPO v. Blackwell.

Since that time, the LPO, other challenger parties, and voting rights groups have offered soutions to Ohio lawmakers on how to craft a law that would be consitutional and fair for everyone.

Those entreaties have been consistently ingnored, and neither Sen. Seitz nor any other lawmaker or state elections official consulted the LPO or any other stakeholders in this issue before we got wind of SB 193’s introduction.

What’s actually in SB 193, and why Libertarians oppose it

First, and perhaps most important, it would change Ohio election rules for Libertarians and other challenger parties nine months into a two-year election cycle—but rules for Republicans and Democrats would remain the same.

SB 193 would remove our party’s access to the 2014 ballot immediately, erasing the months of work our candidates have already put in organizing the campaigns and collecting signatures to get on the ballot.

SB 193 would erase the party registrations of thousands of Ohioans who voted Libertarian in 2010 and 2012 and severely restrict any chances we or any other challenger party would have to participate in future elections. The LPO would have to collect more than 100,000 signtaures in a very short amount of time with more restrictive petitioning rules—that are, by the way, enforced and interpreted by Republican Secretary of State John Husted, who is running for re-election—to satisfy the requirement of about 60,000 signatures to qualify for ballot access. (Signatures and petitions for challenger parties are typically invalidated in technicalities at a rate far greater than the parties in power, making it practical to get two to three times as many signatures as required by law.)

The bottom line is that the John Kasich Re-election Protection Act would disenfranchise every Ohio voter by taking away their right to vote for a candidate for governor other than a) John Kasich, a governor who has miserably failed the state of Ohio and betrayed millions of fiscal conservatives who expected him to follow Ohio law and oppose Obamacare, or b) the nominee of the other big-government party who is promising to double down on most of Kasich’s failing policies.

SB 193 would also invalidate and halt campaigns for all candidates EXCEPT Republicnas and Democrats, including the dozens of Libertarian campaigns already underway for 2014, for Congress, the Ohio Statehouse, and our LPO Central committee, the board that governs our party based on the choices of voters at the ballot box (just like Republicans and Democrats pick their central committees).

Please read here for the rest of the article.

40 thoughts on “Ohio Senate Votes to Ban Libertarian Party from 2014 Ohio Election

  1. Richard Winger

    One Democratic Senator, Edna Brown, voted for the bill. One Republican Senator, Kevin Bacon, voted against the bill. Otherwise it was a pure party-line vote. The bill needs 60% and the Republican Party only has 60 representatives in the house (which has 99 members) so if all Democrats in the House oppose the bill, and even one Republican also opposes it, it can’t pass. The House vote will be either late this week or early next week.

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Thanks for alerting us to this situation when it started,. Richard. We Libertarians sure must be scary.

  3. Rick Adams

    Those bastards! I can easily imagine this happening here in Virginia if Cuccinelli loses and the GOP-controlled state legislature wants to punish the LP for it. Man, I hope and pray it doesn’t come to that and I also hope that wretched SB 193 goes down in flames, even if it’s by one vote!

  4. Pingback: Ohio Senate Votes to Ban Libertarian Party from 2014 Ohio Election | Libertarian Hippie

  5. Dave Terry

    Gee guys, all we have to do is write a few letters to the editor and the people responsible will see the error of their ways and fix the problem.

    Miss Polly Anna

  6. chief brown

    not being a lawyer,just a policeman and fireman by trade,with police chief,fire chief work history,being said,as a question of law and matter of law,legal point of law,under the us constitutional laws this unconstitutional proposed ohio state law ,should,could,would be struck down as deemed as in conflict with the us constitution ;folks!! we live in the usa not red china,not ussr??this proposed new ohio law is unamerican someones need to sue over it!!!

  7. Darryl W. Perry

    “Ban” them from the ballot, or “remove” them from the list of parties that have guaranteed ballot access? The two are not the same, though the latter may have the same desired outcome

  8. Dave Terry

    > “The two are not the same, though the latter may have the same desired outcome.”

    The same can be said of a radical lobotomy and decapitation; So what is your point?

  9. J.D.

    Then lets move our convention from Columbus to a more deserving location. If they don’t want us there then clearly they don’t need our money. LP National Convention Evansville, IN 2014!

  10. Dave Terry

    I second that motion. Perhaps we should limit our convention locations to those states where we have permanent ballot status. We DO have permanent ballot status in SOME states, RIGHT?? :>)

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    If the LP loses 2014 status, we should definitely move the convention, although it will probably be quite a loss of money to cancel the venue.

  12. Dave Terry

    Jill, have we already put a deposit down on the venue. If NOT, perhaps we should consider the move BEFORE we DO.

  13. Jed Ziggler (@JedZiggler)

    I know for sure we have ballot status in Indiana, Texas, D.C., Georgia, North Carolina, California, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Colorado. I’m sure there’s others but those are the ones that come to mind.

    I purposely left out Michigan because of their infamous 2012 shenanigans.

  14. paulie

    I know for sure we have ballot status in Indiana, Texas, D.C., Georgia, North Carolina, California, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Colorado.

    Depends on what you mean by ballot access. In California, non-presidential candidates will no longer appear on the election ballot, thanks to Top Two. In the qualifying round for the election (it’s not an election since it can’t elect anyone), all kinds of candidates can claim to be Libertarians, regardless of whether they are, and the party has no say in it.

    North Carolina does have ballot access, but retained it by a razor thin margin in the past election. Otherwise, they would have to do a petition of over 100,000 people. With the new election laws, it could easily come down to that next time.

    Ballot retention in Texas is fairly easy, but we have managed to screw it up in the past – the most recent cases being 2004 and 1986.

    Louisiana was one of 5 states and DC where Bob Barr was not on the ballot in 2008. Mississippi would have been another one, but the election officials decided to be nice to the LP.

    DC just won ballot retention for the first time ever last year.

    Georgia has ballot access for statewide races, but a practically insurmountable petition requirement for any smaller districts such as US House or state legislature.

  15. Darryl W. Perry

    “The same can be said of a radical lobotomy and decapitation; So what is your point?”

    My point is that news headlines should not over-dramatize what is being reported. Does the bill say “The Libertarian Party is prohibited from being on the ballot”? Or does the bill say the LP is not longer on the list of parties with guaranteed ballot access?

  16. J.D.

    I emailed Wes Benedict and he said it might cost $50,000 or $100,000 to cancel the convention. I say that is better than giving hundreds of thousands to the state of Ohio. It is time the LP and the GP start taking the people of these states to task. Yes we will hurt average Americans if we move the convention but the average Americans we hurt are the same ones that keep voting for these jerks. Treat these states the way many want to treat the government. Starve the beast! Boycott Ohio!

  17. Mark Axinn

    Exactly what kind of message does that send to the very hardworking members of LPO who are psyched to host the 2014 Convention? Great job guys and, by the way, fuck you because the statist operation you are fighting so tenaciously tried to stick it to you again.

    We need to bring 10,000 people to Ohio in June 2014 to show the people of Columbus what a party about freedom looks like.

  18. Dave Terry

    @MA: “We need to bring 10,000 people to Ohio in June 2014 to show the people of Columbus what a party about freedom looks like.

    Since the state doesn’t want to recognize and honor OUR votes; I’d rather see 100 Libertarians show up at the polls on election day and trash the ballot boxes, so that NO ONE’S votes are counted.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s “i-n-a-p-p-r-o-p-r-i-a-t-e!

    I ALSO think that refusing to fight back is WORSE than inapproriate.

  19. paulie

    How about a big music festival/rally/campout with speakers somewhere near Columbus in the days leading up to the LP convention? Something along the lines of what Free and Equal has been trying to put together and rescheduled twice now, but spread out over several days and with camping.

  20. Darryl W. Perry

    @Paulie – that sounds like a good idea in theory, but since the LP convention already conflicts with PorcFest, I don’t know how many people will attend a camping event in Ohio before the LP convention.

  21. paulie

    I don’t think all of the potential audience would be people who would be interested in PorcFest, or even most of it. If we could get an event with some well known music groups (Christina has had a few good ones signed up each time but she keeps changing the date), speakers like Ventura, Nader and perhaps Ron Paul, and so on, in Ohio, do you really think PorcFest in NH would make much of a difference? I don’t.

  22. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    From now on, I think there should be a clause in the convention contract that gives us an out if the state the hotel is in does something like this. If in fact Ohio does ban third parties and we hold our convention there so we don’t lose a ton of money, let’s just make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  23. paulie

    A clause like that would not be acceptable to hotels, since it is not something they control and they would have to replace the booking. Also, we would be at a serious disadvantage in negotiating a new contract elsewhere at a much later date.

  24. J.D.

    They sure as hell control who they vote for. Like I said take the state of Ohio to task not just its government. The LP might only be analogous to a 100lb fullback but that’s still 100lbs of weight to push around. Hit them where it hurts. Remember “it’s the economy stupid!”. Just a side not I am not actually calling anyone here stupid, it’s just an old quote.

  25. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    What you say may be true, Paulie, but there are two sides to a negotiation. I still think it’s a clause that should be included in a contract in the future.

  26. Darryl W. Perry

    I know about a dozen people off the top of my head that will be attending PorcFest instead of the LP convention in 2014. My guess is there are somewhere near 100 people who would like to attend both events, and are being forced to make a choice

  27. paulie

    There is already a HUGE festival scheduled for the same weekend as the LP convention, and it is virtually across the street form the convention hall.

    I know, but that’s not the same thing. I’m talking more along the lines of
    1. Campout
    2. Several days to a week
    3. Outside of town, but not very far
    4. Before the LP convention, not during
    5. The same kinds of acts and speakers as Free and Equal keeps promising, but more of them since it will be over several days.

  28. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Richard Winger writes in Ballot Access News:

    “Ohio SB 193, the bill that would remove the Constitution, Green, Libertarian, and Socialist Parties from the 2014 ballot, passed the State Senate on October 8, the same day it had passed the Senate Committee. However, the House does not appear to be eager to rush the bill. It seems unlikely that the bill will move ahead in the House, either this week or next week.

    The longer the delay, the stronger the due process argument becomes. The due process argument is that it is unfair to impose a severe petition burden so late in the petitioning season. If the bill had been in effect after the November 2012 election, the parties could have started working then on getting the needed 56,000 signatures for 2014. Imposing the petition requirement in November 2013 would mean that an entire year of the 2014 petitioning period would have been unavailable.”

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