By Max Bibeau | ARIZONA
On July 10, Judge David Campbell denied the Libertarian Party’s request to repeal an Arizona law that requires candidates from the Libertarian Party to get many more signatures than their competitors in order to run for office.
The law, passed in 2015, solely targeted the Libertarian Party, making it exponentially more difficult for candidates to get on the ballot. The old law required all parties to receive a certain number of signatures, based off of the number of voters registered within their party. The new law, however, requires parties to collect a certain number of signatures based off of all registered voters. The law also requires signatures to be from currently registered voters within the party they are signing for, or, for smaller parties, the signer must not be either a registered Republican or Democrat, meaning the signer must be either a registered third party voter or an Independent. This makes things exponentially more difficult for Libertarians, as now a Libertarian Party candidate must receive the equivalent of 12% of registered Libertarians’ signatures, whereas candidates from the GOP must receive less than 0.5% of their party’s registered voters.
The law was mostly pushed for and passed by GOP legislators, presumably in order to exclude Libertarians from the ballot. Especially in recent years, the GOP seems to be more and more threatened by the Libertarian Party’s rapidly increasing support. It is not only possible, but probable that the sole purpose of this law was to help secure the GOP’s permanent foothold as the only legitimate party for right wingers. Now, after a judge has defended such a law, the message to Libertarians is becoming increasingly clear: American politics is now an insider’s game only.
While this law is a major blow to the Libertarian Party in Arizona, overall, the Libertarian Party has continued to see increasing popularity and support, meaning that hopeful 3rd party voters shouldn’t give up hope quite yet.