Sunday, November 18, 2007

Libertarian Party of Ohio Pushes for Ballot Access Reform

From the inbox. LPO State Chair Kevin Knedler is asking all libertarians (party members and sympathizers) to write their State House Representatives and State Senators and ask them to consider taking action to reform Ohio's highly restrictive ballot access laws. These laws have the effect of squashing competition to the established two parties and shutting out new ideas from being interjected into public policy debates. Whether you are a libertarian, or a supporter of some other "3rd party", or just plain believe in an open and democratic political system, I encourage you to use the following letter as a guideline. You can go here to contact your representatives via the internet. - LJ

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Dear Ohio Rep./Senator X,

As a citizen and Ohio voter, I would like to express my concern with the issue of ballot access for parties other than the Republicans and Democrats. When I say "ballot access", I refer to listing a party's candidates on the ballot with the party affiliation, as the Democrats and Republicans already have.Currently, the specific law which establishes guidelines for parties to petition for ballot access is not complete (ORC 3517.01). It was struck down by the 6th circuit Court in September 2006. The Ohio Secretary of State has addressed this topic through decree and set a number at 20,125 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters. To obtain that many valid signatures, we must collect at least 35,000 raw signatures to be able to meet the existing requirements.

The sheer size of the existing requirements is staggering and causes undue burden upon parties such as ours to get candidates on the ballot with a party affiliation. At a time when citizens are staying away from the voting booth, and polls indicate a general frustration with our elected representatives and government, we offer another opportunity to bring them back into the democratic process. This could also help the state with an increased number of poll workers. Can the elected representatives of Ohio take the high road and put the voter and democracy first?

Also note that there was a similar situation in the states of Arkansas and Illinois. In 2006 they also had their laws struck down as unconstitutional. In 2007 they addressed and fixed the situation through their legislatures. We are asking Ohio to do the same.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio has several forward-thinking ideas we would like to see enacted which will enable our party to get our candidates on the ballot throughout Ohio with the Libertarian party affiliation. Either Kevin Knedler, the Chair of the Libertarian Party of Ohio, or Ed Schambs, the Secretary of the Party, would like to meet with you to present an alternative to the present situation. Feel free to contact us at 877-868-3576 or go to our web site at http://www.lpo.org/ Thank you.

Regards,
Name (optional phone)

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