Ted Metz, Georgia Libertarian Candidate for Governor:
"If a vote for the Libertarian is really a vote for the Democrat, and some people would argue it's really a vote for the Republican, then that must mean a libertarian vote is worth three votes!"
During an exclusive IVN interview with Ted Metz, the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor in Georgia, Ted talked ballot access and voting rights, as well as some of the issues in the Georgia race.
Here's what he had to say:
"I try at every chance I get to speak to tell people that the essence of libertarianism is: Leave me alone. Don't tell me what to do. Don't steal my stuff. And most people totally agree with that!"
On Ballot Access
"I started out with the Ron Paul movement. I was one of those 'infiltrators' according to the GOP. This is where people just don't understand how things actually work.
Both the Democrats and the Republicans have county and state parties that have dues paying members that actually show up for monthly meetings, and they're the actual ones that are steering the ship.
And the way that they arrive at their nominees is generally at their convention. And they choose among the party faithful, the party elite. Anyone can self-identify as either party and get on the ballot, without ever having been to any of their political meetings.
But if you want to be a Libertarian or independent candidate, you have to go through an archaic process of first paying the fee to get on the ballot, then a petitioning requirement– equal to 5 percent of the voters from the previous elections– and this doesn't apply to statewide, this applies to local elections. For statewide elections, libertarians have ballot access due to political elections.
5 percent of a million is 20,000, and there's a very short window to actually get the petition signatures. And they've moved it around. So qualifying is now in the first week of March. And the petition signatures have to be turned in by July. And we're relying on voter data from the previous election, much of which we're coming to find out is incorrect. People have moved, or they've redistricted, or they're dead.
Another problem we have is gated communities: not being able to go door knocking in gated communities. People don't even answer the door anymore. So the arcane nature of trying to do the petitioning is oppressive. They won't allow digital signatures. They won't allow online signatures. It has to be in person. Which in my opinion is a throwback to the 1900s when people would actually answer the door for a stranger. And people didn't move. They weren't mobile...
If I can get 20% of the vote in this election, that would be the key to getting the Libertarian Party major party status for all down ballot offices."
On Media Bias
"That's the first hurdle.
The next hurdle is lack of media coverage. Early on, I was on a campaign staff with a guy, Derek Grayson, who was running for the U.S. Senate. And we went statewide to almost every county, and we also participated in– it must have been at least ten different debates around the state where all the candidates showed up... The media would be there. They would interview the mainstream, elite, party candidates, and we would say would you like to interview [Grayson]? And they would look at us with the deer in the headlights look and say, 'Sorry but he's not on our list.'
[This year] I'm the Libertarian candidate for governor. I'm on the ballot. In fact I was the first candidate on the ballot, because the main parties had to go through their primary circus.
And every time I hand my card, I get the deer in the headlights look. They don't want more than two candidates on the ballot because it confuses the voter. But that doesn't tell you the level of respect our politicians and the government have for the voter being intelligent and being able to make a decision...
The media in general is doing a disservice to the public by not reporting accurately about all the candidates on the ballot. [I've also heard them say,] 'We're not covering you because you don't buy advertising.'
W. E. Messamore: "I have a friend who lives in Georgia. Why should he vote for you instead of Kemp or Abrams?"
"If he wants another four years of the Deal administration, vote for Kemp. If he wants to end corruption, make the government accountable, and actually lower taxes, then he needs to vote for me.
If Abrams is elected, with her control of the budget, she will surely destroy several of the things that are currently in place that are good for the public. Furthermore, with her authority within the office of the governor, she'll probably be able to sign us up for several of the more liberal progressive government policies, she'll be able to raid the retirement fund. Because it's the same political system, she'll be granting favors to all her campaign contributors just like the Republican would be doing.
He can vote for her in the runoff if he wants to. So long as there's a runoff they should vote their conscience in the general, and then hold their vote for whoever the survivors are in the runoff."
Because Metz is on the ballot in the Georgia governor's race, he will be sharing the stage with Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams at the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial debate on October 23rd.