Libertarians Kickoff Petition Drive to Restore Ballot Status
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tim O'Brien
HAZEL PARK. "This is the single,
most important thing we will do this year," said Libertarian Party of Michigan
Executive Committee member Nancy O'Brien in announcing the official start of
the party's petition drive to restore its ballot status.
As chair of the
party's Ballot Access Restoration Committee she promised the party faithful at
the LPM's annual convention last weekend that she and her committee would do
whatever is necessary to collect the 30,272 petition signatures needed because,
she stated, "Failure is not an option."
"It's a pretty sad commentary on
Michigan election law," added newly elected party chair Michael Corliss, "that
after having 115 candidates get a total of more than 1.5 million votes in the
last election, we should lose our ballot status anyway and have to petition to
get back on."
"It's a pretty sad commentary on Michigan election law,"
added newly elected party chair Michael Corliss, "that after having 115
candidates get a total of more than 1.5 million votes in the last election, we
should lose our ballot status anyway and have to petition to get back
Corliss was referring to Michigan's unique 'Top-of-Ticket' rule
that puts the fate of an entire political party on the one race that is highest
up on the ballot.
The LP actually fielded a slate of candidates larger
than all the other so-called 'third' parties combined. And those candidates
garnered many times the vote total of all the other 'third' parties -- added
together. But the LP's presidential candidate, Harry Browne, fell victim to
'Wasted Vote' syndrome in the historically tight race between Republican Bush
and Democrat Gore. And since Michigan law puts all of the party's ballot status
eggs in that one basket, the LP is off while the Green and Reform parties --
far weaker overall -- maintained their ballot positions.
of the situation is so self-evident that state representative Leon Drolet
(R-33) has taken up the cause of reforming the law and plans to introduce
legislation to eliminate the "Principal Candidate" limitation so that any of a
party's candidates can meet the minimum requirement to retain ballot access.
In fact Drolet was at the LP's convention in Frankenmuth and was among
the very first to actually sign the petition to put the party back on the
"We are hopeful that we can get the law changed," concluded
Corliss. "But in the meantime we have no choice but to go out and collect
30,272 signatures of registered voters if we are to run candidates again in
The party has 180 days to complete its task.