Ever wonder why you don’t see more Libertarian candidates? One reason is that the Republicans and Democrats have passed laws to make it difficult for Libertarians, Greens, or independents from gaining access to the ballot. While it may sound reasonable to have a “minimum standard” to allow people onto the ballot, those minimum standards have become major thresholds. The main parties have learned how to manipulate ballot access laws for exclusionary, self-protective motives. In most states, including Maryland, the method of obtaining ballot access is an expensive and time-consuming process of petitioning. The last time the Libertarian Party of Maryland had to petition for the official status necessary to obtain ballot access, it cost over $30,000 and countless hours of volunteer time. The Republicans and Democrats don’t have to petition in Maryland, so they don’t bear that expense.
An alternative method of retaining ballot access in 2014 is for the Libertarian candidate for Governor, Shawn Quinn, to obtain at least 1% of the vote. In 2012, the two state-wide races involving Libertarian candidates were Gary Johnson and Dean Ahmed. Both obtained 1%, but barely. We can do better in 2014!
Voting Libertarian helps to retain your option to see a Libertarian on the ballot for another two years–IF we can obtain that one percent. It requires all our 14,500+ registered Libertarians in Maryland to vote for Shawn Quinn for Governor, and then of course it requires many independents, Republicans and Democrats to also vote for Shawn. We can reach or exceed 1% this year, and if we do, the money and time that would otherwise be required to petition for ballot access can be used to help build our presence in Maryland. This means better candidate support, better outreach and coalition building for issue advocacy, better membership. In short, building the tools necessary to help citizens reclaim lost liberty here in Maryland.
Help us help you. Vote Libertarian in 2014! Early voting begins on Thursday, October 23 and continues until October 30th. During early voting, you can vote at any of the early voting centers in your county. Click here to find your county’s early voting centers. Election day is November 4th, and on that day you must vote at your regularly assigned polling place.