Arizona GOP Tries to Rob Libertarian Kevin McCormick Out of Ballot Spot

Arizona GOP Tries to Rob Libertarian Kevin McCormick Out of Ballot Spot

Created: 15 June, 2018
Last update: 18 October, 2022

ARIZONA - Republicans in Arizona are trying to rob Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Kevin McCormick of a spot on the ballot. This is in spite of the fact that he has submitted the second-most signatures of any candidate to meet qualifications for the November ballot.

Jonathan Lines, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, has filed a lawsuit claiming that over 90 percent of the signatures McCormick collected are illegitimate -- meaning they are not real Arizona voters.

RELATED ARTICLE: Kevin McCormick: Libertarian Faces Down Critics to Finance His Campaign for AZ Governor

The deck is already stacked against third party candidates like McCormick, who had to collect 3,152 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot -- a number the Republican-controlled legislature increased from 133. To be safe, third party and independent candidates generally have to get double the amount of signatures in the event some are tossed as invalid.

But the legitimacy of the lawsuit is not necessarily the point. Challenging third party and independent signatures is a common tactic used by the Republican and Democratic Parties. It hangs a costly legal challenge that would starve these candidates financially -- forcing them to drop out before the courts can even weigh in.

Think of it as a financial battle of attrition that the major parties know they will win. Meanwhile, alternative candidates and voices get shut out of the process completely.

McCormick's big fight won't be to prove his signatures are valid. It will be surviving (financially speaking) to November.

Check out McCormick's Facebook post on the lawsuit:

Also, read the full complaint:

Stay tuned for more on this story.

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About the Author

Shawn M Griffiths

Shawn is the Election Reform Editor for He studied history and philosophy at the University of North Texas, and joined the IVN team in 2012. He has several years of experience covering the broad scope of political and election reform efforts across the country, and has an extensive knowledge of the movement at large. A native Texan, he now lives in San Diego, California.