Updates, press releases, opinions & more.

This is from today’s (November 5, 2014) press release by Bob Johnston, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland:

Maryland LP first minor party in the state in 44 years to retain ballot access.

The Maryland Libertarian Party became the first non-establishment party in the state since 1970 to retain ballot access, as their gubernatorial candidate, Shawn Quinn, received over 1% of the vote in yesterday’s election.

If a political party in Maryland does not have at least 1% of the registered voters at the end of the year, it’s top-of-the-ticket statewide candidate must receive at least 1%.

The last time a non-establishment gubernatorial candidate received 1% was in 1970, when American Party candidate Robert Merkle Woods, Sr. got 1.97% of the vote.

Due to stringent ballot access laws, no minor party had a candidate on the ballot for Governor between 1970 and 2002, when Libertarian Spear Lancaster got on the ballot.

In addition, Maryland LP candidate for Attorney General Leo Dymowski received the most votes for a statewide minor party candidate since 1968, surpassing Ralph Nader’s vote totals in the 2000 Presidential election, even before the absentee ballots have been counted.

If a political party in the state does not have at least 1% of the registered voters, it must collect 10,000 signatures from registered Maryland voters to become a recognized party again, and will remain on the ballot for two general election cycles.

To retain its ballot access, the Libertarian Party’s 2016 Presidential candidate must receive 1%, or the party (edited: must have 1% of the registered voters) by the end of 2016.