Libertarian Party gains official status in Ohio

For the first time in nearly four years, the Libertarian Party of Ohio has regained state recognition – though it remains to be seen whether the party can keep it past this year.

Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Thursday that the Libertarians submitted 60,294 signatures – more than the 54,964 signatures they needed under state law to regain “minor party” status. Recognized minor parties are allowed to hold primaries, and their candidates need fewer petition signatures to get on the ballot, among other advantages.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio lost state recognition after state lawmakers passed new ballot-access rules ahead of the 2014 general election. In addition, their gubernatorial candidate, Charlie Earl, was disqualified from running because of invalid petitions.

Now that it’s back, the party’s main goal is to make sure its gubernatorial candidate, Columbus filmmaker/activist Travis Irvine, gets at least 3 percent of the statewide vote in November. That’s the threshold minor parties in Ohio need to reach to remain on the ballot in 2020.

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