Libertarian Party of Maryland Returns to Legislature for Ballot Access Reform

Posted on

Our party is again supporting legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that cures an inconsistency between the standards by which a political party originally qualifies as a recognized party and the standard to maintain recognition. It is this legal standard for party recognition that allows party candidates to be nominated and placed on the ballot, giving Marylanders an important additional choice when voting.

The amendment changes one of the two alternate standards for a party to re-qualify. Instead of requiring 1% of registered voters, the bill would require 10,000 registered voters, matching the petitioning requirement of 10,000 signatures necessary to form a new political party. It is a simple, two-page bill that changes one word.

Currently the LPMD is qualified to place candidates on the ballot through 2018 because our Presidential candidate received over 1% of the total votes cast in Maryland (Gary Johnson received 2.9%). Before that, we retained qualified status because our Gubernatorial candidate, Shawn Quinn, exceeded 1.5% of the vote, the first time a third-party had done this in 44 years. An alternative standard for party re-qualification is that the party have 1% of the total registered voters register as Libertarians as of the end of each year. To our knowledge, no third-party has re-qualified in Maryland through this standard. As of December 31, 2016, the registered voters necessary to reach the 1% threshold was 39,706. As of that date, Libertarians had 19,904 and the Greens 9,263 affiliated voters, so they would not qualify under that standard.

When parties do not re-qualify, they must petition to obtain 10,000 signatures of registered voters in Maryland as if they are starting anew, a time-consuming, laborious, and expensive process. The petitioning process is made more difficult because so many signatures are disqualified on technicalities, so that a party really needs to obtain around 15,000 signatures to ensure success. Our legislation makes sense because if 10,000 registered voters, who are not necessarily libertarian (in fact, most are not) can sign a petition to demonstrate that the party has a sufficient minimum level of support in Maryland, then having 10,000 registered voters affiliated with that party is more than sufficient to demonstrate that support. An affiliated voter has, by definition, demonstrated support for a particular political party. Therefore, the discrepancy between the 10,000-petitioning requirement to form a party and the variable standard of 1% of registered voters should be eliminated by replacing the 1% standard with 10,000 affiliated registrations.

We have helped form the Coalition for Common Sense Ballot Access with the Green Party of Maryland, Constitution Party of Maryland, and the Ujima People’s Progress Party. You can follow the coalition’s work on behalf of this bill on its website, Facebook and Twitter. The Coalition is seeking endorsements for this bill and has obtained its first endorsement from FairVote Action. If you have a relationship with any organizations you think might be willing to endorse this bill, please contact us.

We expect the bill to be filed by the primary sponsor very soon. It will be identical to the bills we supported in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

General Assembly session begins next Wednesday

Posted on Updated on

md-state-houseThe General Assembly session will begin next Wednesday, January 11, and last for 90 days.

The Maryland Libertarian Party will again be working with legislators and advocacy groups to advance pro-freedom legislation.

If you would like to get involved, contact Maryland LP vice chair Eric Blitz at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

 

2016 Holiday Party

Posted on Updated on

The annual holiday party of the Libertarian Party of Maryland will be held on Friday, December 2nd, from 6:30 to “whenever” pm. It is open to the public. Please join us!
The party will be held at Stu Simms house at 11614 Arden Court, Laurel, MD 20723. The event is pot luck, so please bring a fresh food item. Juice, soda, and water will be provided. BYOB.
 As a courtesy, please RSVP to Stu at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

December 2016 issue of Free? State Libertarian

Posted on

=====> DEADLINE: 9:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2016!!! <=====
(But you don’t have to wait until the last minute. Really.)



The next issue of the Free? State Libertarian newsletter is planned to be out for December.  Looking for articles, comments, and photos from events since the last issue.  The election is over!!!  Send me reports of your experiences and viewpoints.  Especially our candidates (pictures too).

Please report on any letters to the editor that you had published, radio or tv appearances, or anything relevant across the state that has some connection to a Libertarian issue for the regular feature IN THE NEWS.  The subsequent issue will be for March, so if you have any outreach plans between now and then, it would be beneficial to include them now as well.  Anything else you can think of.  County/College chair and officers’ reports, announcements, and general articles are solicited.  Please send in any info on upcoming events, meetings, and get-togethers as well.

Please don’t send me a note telling me that I (or somebody else) should write an article on a favorite topic.  Write it yourself or solicit someone else for the job.  I don’t mind cleaning text up, but the content should be yours.  Also please don’t forward me articles that have been published in some other newspaper or magazine for reprinting unless you have already secured reprint permission for the FSL.  A short excerpt is fine, particularly if you are going to comment on it, but I’m not keen on making our newsletter a reprint vehicle.

Please email articles to email hidden; JavaScript is required, fax 214-889-3668, or snail mail to LPMD Newsletter, PO Box 321, Owings Mills, MD 21117.  Photos are also solicited.  I much prefer text via email so that I don’t have to retype it.  I can convert from most any word processing format.  Don’t be ashamed to hand me hard copy, though.  I want your articles any way you can generate them.  Dictate to a cassette tape if you have to, and I’ll transcribe it.  I’m not kidding!  We need submissions — either about something in Maryland, or written by someone in Maryland.  Preference is given to authors who are MdLP members.

Back issues can be found at http://LPmaryland.org/free-state-libertarian-newsletters/
I am also looking for advertising — do you know anyone who is willing to place ads?  Or put a message in yourself to help support the MdLP.  (It’s a convenient way to contribute by placing a business card, etc. — maybe you can deduct it as an advertising expense.)  Ask your business associates, local vendors, etc. if they’ll at least put a business card ad in.

Advertising Rates

$100 Full Page
$60 1/2 Page
$35 1/4 Page (both sides of a business card)
$20 1/8 Page (business card)

Make checks payable to the Md. Libertarian Party, and send along with copy to PO Box 321, Owings Mills, MD 21117. (Or use the Donate Now option on the webpage to pay, select “General Contribution,” and email the copy.)

=====> DEADLINE: 9:00 am Tuesday, November 15, 2016!!! <=====



Please mention this to anyone concerned you know who is not a recipient of this email.

Thanks,
Robert E. Glaser
Free? State Libertarian Editor

It’s Time to Vote Libertarian!

Posted on Updated on

vote-early

ATTENTION: EARLY VOTING IS OPEN IN MARYLAND. Now is the time to get out and vote for our great Libertarian candidates. Voter turnout is (and will remain) very high, so plan when and where you’ll cast your important vote. Governor Gary Johnson is our Presidential candidate. To learn about our congressional and local candidates, you can go to lpmaryland.org/vote/meet-our-candidates. Your vote is important! We appreciate your support!

Here is a list of early voting centers in Maryland where you can find where to vote in your county. The early polling centers are open today through Thursday, November 3rd, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The final election day is November 8th, but why wait until then?

Volunteers and supporters: Libertarians need to work on voter turnout just hard, if not harder, as the old party campaigns. What you can do:

  1. Obviously, vote yourself. If you are on social media, you can reinforce positive attitudes towards voting by announcing that you’ve voted for our Libertarian candidates.
  2. If you’ve had positive interactions with family, friends or co-workers about libertarians during his campaign, reinforce that with them by making the ask: please consider voting libertarian this election (or particular candidates if that’s been your prior discussion). The point is: reinforce with return messaging and then mention that early voting is open. They CAN vote for a libertarian NOW. It is no longer an abstract discussion of choice, but an act they can take now.
  3. Ask people to identify when and where they will vote. People who identify for themselves when and where they will vote are much more likely to actually vote, and this works best for young voters. Have the list of early voting centers handy so that if the person says they don’t know where they have to vote, you can give them their county locations.
  4. If you know of any libertarian supporters who may have problems getting to the polls, offer to help take them to an early voting center. Those who may have difficulty waiting in lines due to medical conditions can jump the line.
  5. Sign waving at poll location entrances can reinforce people driving into the polling center and traffic passing by.
  6. Working the polls: Asking members to support a third choice, or particular libertarian candidates (depending on the poll location-though obviously Gary Johnson applies to all), is proven to be effective at increasing the libertarian vote count at those polling center. Be positive, nice, and respectful! Some will want to debate you (rare, but happens) but are generally a waste of your time. They aren’t there to be convinced but to validate their own opinions. Be respectful, offer a counter-argument, but then let it go and return to positive messaging to other voters.
  7. Some will use the lesser-of-two-evils, “we can’t let candidate____ win”, type arguments with you. In Maryland, that is particularly silly at the presidential level. There is almost no chance that Hillary won’t easily win in Maryland. That fact free’s voters up to send a clear message about the values they support. If they support liberty, their vote is empowered by voting for a candidate that is the libertarian candidate. Adding another plus 1 to the old party candidates’s vote totals sends almost no message. If Gary Johnson get’s a higher than expected result, then media, politicians, and other voters learn that there is substantial support for liberty friendly candidates. Let’s play the long game!

Let’s go Libertarians!

Vote your conscience, your values, your interests:

Vote for liberty!

2016 Election Night Party!

Posted on

Libertarian volunteers, candidates, and supporters: please join us for an election night party to watch the returns, socialize, and celebrate the rising tide of libertarianism. Free admission, free appetizers sponsored by the state party, and a cash bar will be available. The party will be held at Tubby’s Diner and Liquors at 5701 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel, Maryland 20707, from 8 p.m. to midnight.

We will have a big screen TV for the returns and there is wifi for internet updates.

So that we can get an accurate count for planning, please RSVP to email hidden; JavaScript is required

Localized Driving Instructions:

From 29 North: Take MD- Rt.198E Tubby’s will be less than 2 miles down, on your right!

From 29 South: Take MD- Rt.198E Exit. Go straight through circle. Turn left on 198E. Tubby’s will be less than 2 miles down, on your right!

From 95 North/South: Take MD- Rt.198W Tubby’s will be less than 2 miles down, on the left hand side of the road!

LP HQ Needs Volunteer Help

Posted on

The Libertarian Party’s national office in Arlington, VA needs some volunteer help this Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7th.

We received this message from Robert Kraus, Director of Operations:

We could use help Thur 10 am – 4 pm and Fri 10 am – 4 pm packing and shipping yard signs. We are several hundred orders behind at this point. We also need someone with large SUV or truck that can help us take stuff to Post Office as our usual carrier is out of town this week and the sub won’t come back to pick up.

Thanks in advance!

Robert

If you are available to help, please contact Robert Kraus at email hidden; JavaScript is required or by phone at 202-333-0008 x 231.

The address of the Libertarian Party’s headquarters is 1444 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Let’s help get those signs out to the rest of the country!