Libertarians Sue Ohio over New Rules for Minor Political Parties
The Libertarian Party of Ohio on Friday sued the state of Ohio over newly enacted rules for minor political parties, claiming they unconstitutionally block their participation in next year’s elections.
The Ohio Green Party, as well as a Green congressional candidate, are also considering their own legal challenges against the new law on the grounds that it unfairly hinders their ability to participate in next year’s election.
The Libertarians’ legal challenge, filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus, claims the new law unconstitutionally prevents them from holding a 2014 party primary, strips their party of state recognition, and retroactively prevents their candidates from running next year.
The suit also questions the last-minute of Senate Bill 193, which takes effect on Feb. 5, 2014, the filing deadline for primary candidates.
Under the new rules, the Libertarians and the state’s three other minor parties must collect 28,000 voter signatures by next July to regain official recognition. Parties that meet that requirement would then submit to the state a list of candidates to appear on the November ballot.
Supporters of the new law say it’s needed after a 2006 court ruling found the state's previous standards for minor parties to be unconstitutionally restrictive.