The Libertarian Party had a successful year with two statewide campaigns that garnered a lot of attention and support for the party. Dale Harrington Jr.’s race in Arkansas for U.S. Senate and the Rainwater Campaign in Indiana for Governor.
Now it appears that this success comes at a cost as the duopoly has punished the largest third party in the country.
From the Libertarian Party:
Call to Action: Indiana GOP Punished Libertarians
What’s happening in Indiana is no surprise to any Libertarian. When the old parties feel threatened, they do not improve their positions or run better candidates, they simply use their power to limit voter choice.
The Libertarian Party of Indiana issued this release Thursday morning, Jan. 28:
Rep. Ethan Manning (R) says that his bill, HB 1134, seeks to remove the uneven disparity between major parties and minor parties. He says that it is unfair that Republicans and Democrats must collect signatures from 4,500 voters to secure their candidates in the publicly funded primaries while Libertarians are not required to gather signatures for their candidates nominated at a privately funded convention. Rep. Manning is correct, there is an uneven disparity within our election laws…but that disparity in actuality shifts that burden to minor parties, like the Libertarian Party of Indiana.
Minor parties are saddled with additional and complicated filing requirements, are barred from participating in primaries, cannot access the voter registration list during non-election years, cannot have official election day poll workers, and many more additional hurdles.
However, HB 1134 doesn’t address any of these longstanding disparities. Instead, it seeks to add the burden of pre-primary petition requirements to candidates for Governor and US Senate seeking nomination at our convention.
Forcing the signature gathering requirements for primary participation on a minor and much smaller party without any of the benefits or rewards for participating in a primary is not fair or equitable.
We met with Rep. Manning to negotiate in good faith to create a fair and equitable bill. Through this meeting we demonstrated that we are willing to work with the legislature to address these disparities within the election law. That we are ready to accept additional difficulty being inserted into our nomination process as long as there was balance. A risk and reward.
Rep. Curt Nisly (R), with the help and the support of the Libertarian Party of Indiana, will be submitting an amendment to HB 1134. This Amendment would keep Rep. Manning’s signature requirements, but in exchange it would grant any party with ballot access an automatic seat on the State and county election boards.
“If we are going to require minor parties, who have achieved ballot access, to submit signatures to election boards prior to nominating their candidates, then they should have a voice on that board,” Rep. Nisly said.
Without the Nisly amendment, HB 1134 is nothing more than a punitive assault on the Libertarian party’s ballot access, which we have fought hard to maintain since 1994.
How can you help defend our ballot access?
- Click Here to locate and contact your State Rep. Call and email them, before 2pm EST today, asking them to support the Nisly amendment to HB 1134 or to push HB 1134 to Study Session.
- Share this with your friends and family on social media. Ask them to call and email their representative.
- Help fund our ongoing ballot access fights by donating to the Libertarian Party of Indiana – Click Here to Donate.
We aren’t asking for special treatment…we are calling for fair and equitable treatment.