Oklahoma Supreme Court Denied Gary Johnson Ballot access

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Photo: © Caleb Long

This November, Gary Johnson will appear on the ballot in forty-seven states as the Libertarian Party presidential nominee. Oklahoma will not be among those states. Last week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court denied Gary Johnson ballot access under the Americans Elect Party.

When the Libertarian Party failed in its attempt to gain the necessary amount of signatures in Oklahoma, the state’s Americans Elect chapter nominated Johnson as its party’s candidate. One day prior to nominating Johnson, however, Americans Elect dissolved as a national party.

Due to the party’s national dissolution, the Oklahoma Supreme Court justices unanimously agreed that, “Petitioners were never authorized to act on behalf of Americans Elect, the national party recognized by the Oklahoma Board of Elections…”

Gary Johnson’s struggle for ballot access in Oklahoma is the most recent, but it is not his first. Johnson’s aspirations for ballot access have been challenged in DC, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. In response to state challenges, Ron Nielson, senior adviser to Johnson stated:

“In states across the nation, Republican operatives, lawyers, and in some cases, elected officials, are filing frivolous challenges to Governor Johnson’s ballot status. They know that even if their challenges fail, fending them off is a drain on our resources and a distraction from the real issues in this campaign.”

Each state sets its own rules for the number of signatures a candidate needs to gather in order to be placed on the election ballot. Oklahoma requires 5% “of the votes cast for the office at the top of the previous ticket,” which equates to 51,739 signatures this year, within 90 days.

Often, third party candidates struggle to receive the finances and media exposure that are available to the two largest parties, which can hinder a candidate’s ability to hire paid signature gatherers.

Currently, Green Party presidential candidates, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala will appear on thirty-eight states’ ballots, and as write-ins in five states. Like Johnson’s ticket, they too are striving for ballot access in six states.

Despite challenges to his campaign, Johnson has remained optimistic, telling The Guardian:

“These challenges against me are just railroad jobs: it’s straight out of the Wild West. I think it’s a testament to the strength of our campaign that they are going to these lengths.”

Early last week, in a CNN/ORC poll, 4% of those surveyed responded that they would vote for Johnson.

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  1. kwilson I think it should be illegal to deny ballot access to ANYONE. This is AMERICA for pete's sake. The GOP is nothing more than a gang of thugs, who know they can't win without rigging the game.
  2. Hannah In Okie terminology, this is a bunch of bull. He should have been on the ballot.
  3. Crystal Lewis I just stumbled upon this article beacuse I was trying to do my homework this year and pick a candidate that held most of the views I believe in. I decided on Gary Johnson. But, of course, I live in Republican happy Oklahoma and have just figured out I can't even vote for the candidate I want to vote for. It is so sad that most of the country doesn't even know they can vote for someone besides Obama and Romney. They make up their minds based on what TV tells them.
  4. Peter Piper The media acts as a marketing tool by only reporting on the two (R& D) candidates. And therefore influence elections instead of just reporting on them.
  5. Donna Williams Yes....
  6. Charles O. My vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for GARY JOHNSON. It is ignorant individuals such as yourself that are causing America's ruin. On all of the important issues (Obama/RomneyCare, NDAA, Unconstitutional Wars, Bailouts and the Economy) there is no real difference between the two parties. I would argue that a vote for Romney OR Obama is a vote for the status quo. Together the two parties have ruined our country. Do you nincompoops like you really believe that Romney, the architect of Obamacare, is going to repeal anything Obama has done. Romney and Obama are ON THE SAME TEAM. A vote for one is a vote for the other is a vote for Goldman Sachs and the continuing decline of our country.
  7. Silverwolf And they tried state intervention in a place called the Soviet Union. Oh look, I can make ridiculous strawman arguments too.
  8. Genevieve Santiago Yes! It would be great to see third-party candidates participate in the debates! Many uninformed Americans are hardly aware they have alternative party options. The debates would be a fantastic time for third-parties to lay out their platforms and gain exposure that is not so easily avaliable to them. Congress has record low approval ratings, which shows how dissatisfied people are with the institution made up of Democrats and Republicans. We should have readily accessible information, so we can compare and weigh who we fall in line with more.
  9. Genevieve Santiago I would agree. It seems risky to attempt getting on the ballot under another party affiliation.
  10. Genevieve Santiago The Libertarian Party turned in approx. 56,000 siganatures but only 41,070 were valid. The party fell short over 10,000.
40 comments
kwilson
kwilson

I think it should be illegal to deny ballot access to ANYONE. This is AMERICA for pete's sake. The GOP is nothing more than a gang of thugs, who know they can't win without rigging the game.

Hannah
Hannah

In Okie terminology, this is a bunch of bull. He should have been on the ballot.

Crystal Lewis
Crystal Lewis

I just stumbled upon this article beacuse I was trying to do my homework this year and pick a candidate that held most of the views I believe in. I decided on Gary Johnson. But, of course, I live in Republican happy Oklahoma and have just figured out I can't even vote for the candidate I want to vote for. It is so sad that most of the country doesn't even know they can vote for someone besides Obama and Romney. They make up their minds based on what TV tells them.

Peter Piper
Peter Piper

The media acts as a marketing tool by only reporting on the two (R& D) candidates. And therefore influence elections instead of just reporting on them.

David Carlyon
David Carlyon

A vote for anybody but Obama or Romney is a vote against being herded by fear into one of two artificial ideologies that differ on certain emotional issues, and different in rhetoric (lies) but are the same when it comes to the really important things. Regardless of which major candidate wins, we'll still be at war, your freedoms will continue to be taken away, and every time you pull a dollar bill out of your wallet, it will seem to be a little bit smaller than when you put it in.

Oh, but this is the most important election of my lifetime. Just like the last one. And the one before that.

Donavan Spencer
Donavan Spencer

@ Bob I think I'm speaking for the majority of independents with this if not the majority of Americans. We want Obama out. I really, really do: The patriot act, NDAA, drone strikes on American citizens, the failing economy, the bogus peace prize.

But not at the price of putting Romney in. I will vote for the greater good this election. You can take your advocacy for "the lessor evil" back to hell where it belongs.

Get Gary in the debates: http://www.causes.com/actions/1682103

Donavan Spencer
Donavan Spencer

I'm betting that Ok is one of the very few states where Romney beats Johnson in this election. Any takers? ;)

Get Gary in the debates. Whoever you actually plan to vote for, Americans should get to hear from ALL the candidates. http://www.causes.com/actions/1682103

Sam Thebutcher
Sam Thebutcher

These are the actions of a group running scared.

Alden Huckvale
Alden Huckvale

--

This is still Corruption whether it is by collusion, or outright by the GOP. And it is Corruption at the highest levels and in the highest courts!

MaryLee Belleville
MaryLee Belleville

The situtaion in OK had nothing to do with the GOP. Americans Elect (scum that it is) paid for that ballot access and were within their rights to do with it whatever they chose. Gary Johnson had no claim to that ballot line.

Now some of the other states like MI is another thing all together

Lucas Eaves
Lucas Eaves

@bob i dont see how your comment elevates the debate ? If you do not feel represented by either of the candidates, you should feel free to vote for someone else. We should stop being afraid to vote outside the two parties.

Var Enyo
Var Enyo

As long as there are super pacs an hidden money none of the other candidates will have a chance.

Gil Donovan
Gil Donovan

Bob, Nancy, you guys go ahead, keep procrastinating and trying to keep a broken system running. The rest of us are going to work on the solutions.

Bob Garrett
Bob Garrett

A registered voter that doesn't vote or votes for anyone but Romney is voting for Obama

Stephen Frazzini
Stephen Frazzini

Yes...there should be no restrictions...as long as the requirements are met such as 10,000 signatures as an example showing there is enough interest to warrant the addition.

Barry Short
Barry Short

I have several small party candidates on the ballot in my state, and I'll be voting for GJ. If the only choice is Obamney, you might as well stay home.

Duane Dichiara
Duane Dichiara

I guess that sort of depends on which 3rd party... right?

Adrian Todden
Adrian Todden

Absolutely! Both mainstream candidates are forcefeeding the voting public with more bs lies and intimidation propaganda.

Brandon Fallon
Brandon Fallon

Americans Elect and Unity08 were well intentioned, but secretly funded and not funded enough, respectively. Their goal was to go past partisanship and there'll probably be future attempts like them in the near future.

As long as there are third party (and 4th, 5th, etc...) on ballots, there is a voice for choice. Voter turnout will increase. If it is too difficult to get on a presidential ballot, why not try and go on a state-level? Lincoln Chafee and Angus King are two good examples of Republicans-turned Independents.

Alex Gauthier
Alex Gauthier

Seems a tad poorly thought out to jump onto the Americans Elect Party just as their ship falls into the ocean.

Mike Moore
Mike Moore

On one hand, Gary Johnson has to jump through hoops to try and get on the ballot, and on the other hand people can vote for the other 2 parties without so much as personal identification.

CallmeAnn
CallmeAnn

Why in the world weren't they able to get the signatures in Oklahoma? I can't imagine that.

Michael Higham
Michael Higham

I understand why Republicans are fighting his ballot access, but it's certainly not fair. What I don't understand is voters being opposed to have Johnson at debates or on the ballot. Limiting these choices is inherently undemocratic. On one hand, we don't want just ANYONE running for a president but we have a two-term governor who has clear ideas. Like him or not, you have to respect the fact that he has a message is capable of running.

Lucas Eaves
Lucas Eaves

The requirements, in terms of signatures, for the third party candidates to be on the ballot are so high compared to the main parties. This is such a disadvantage as they have to use their few resources to get on the ballot, then in legal fees to fight all the legal battles brought by the republican or democrat party. These barriers needs to be removed in the future if we ever want too see more third party candidates succeed. The fact that Gary Johnson will be on the ballot in 7 states is already a great success.

Chad Peace
Chad Peace

The barriers to participation in this country are enormous. The fact that a recognized former popular Governor cannot get ballot access in a state to run for President on an established third party ticket is juts absurd; whether you think Johnson is the best candidate ever or he's a crazy ... its the system that is broken because of stuff like this.

Colleen McCool
Colleen McCool

Obama and Romney have forsaken the American Dream. They hardly disagree at all on the important issues. What will they debate?

A declaration is an affirmation. Independence means self-government. They could have called The Declaration of Independence, The Affirmation of Self-Government!

Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray are the only choice to Save the American Dream: Self-Government, freedom from big government tyranny and oppression.... and to Restore Justice, the guardian of Liberty! The people believe in self-government and self-medication.

Genevieve Santiago
Genevieve Santiago

Yes! It would be great to see third-party candidates participate in the debates! Many uninformed Americans are hardly aware they have alternative party options. The debates would be a fantastic time for third-parties to lay out their platforms and gain exposure that is not so easily avaliable to them. Congress has record low approval ratings, which shows how dissatisfied people are with the institution made up of Democrats and Republicans. We should have readily accessible information, so we can compare and weigh who we fall in line with more.

Charles O.
Charles O.

My vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for GARY JOHNSON. It is ignorant individuals such as yourself that are causing America's ruin. On all of the important issues (Obama/RomneyCare, NDAA, Unconstitutional Wars, Bailouts and the Economy) there is no real difference between the two parties. I would argue that a vote for Romney OR Obama is a vote for the status quo. Together the two parties have ruined our country.

Do you nincompoops like you really believe that Romney, the architect of Obamacare, is going to repeal anything Obama has done.

Romney and Obama are ON THE SAME TEAM. A vote for one is a vote for the other is a vote for Goldman Sachs and the continuing decline of our country.

Genevieve Santiago
Genevieve Santiago

I would agree. It seems risky to attempt getting on the ballot under another party affiliation.

Genevieve Santiago
Genevieve Santiago

The Libertarian Party turned in approx. 56,000 siganatures but only 41,070 were valid. The party fell short over 10,000.

Indy236
Indy236

They tried self-government in a place called Somalia. Didn't work out so well.

Silverwolf
Silverwolf

And they tried state intervention in a place called the Soviet Union. Oh look, I can make ridiculous strawman arguments too.