State BoE kicks Libertarians off the ballot

Well, many months of petitioning, which cost our state party $100,000, have come to naught. We were officially decertified today by the North Carolina Board of Elections. According to an article in the Raleigh News & Observer:

The board gave Libertarians two extensions to gather enough signatures since last November’s ballots were certified. Sean Haugh, the party’s executive director, argued that the board still could use such discretion, which would help Libertarian candidates in next month’s local primaries in Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

But the board said time had run out because absentee ballots had to be sent 30 days before such partisan elections.

All is not lost, though:

Haugh and party Chairman Thomas Hill said they are considering a lawsuit in state court to challenge North Carolina’s ballot access laws, which Hill contends are unconstitutional.

"We’re tired of being treated like second-class citizens in this state," Hill said.

Libertarians also are hopeful the Legislature will help future efforts to remain a political party.

A bill with bipartisan sponsorship aims to reduce the election and signature thresholds for remaining on the ballot in North Carolina, which is considered one of the most stringent in the nation.

The Electoral Fairness Act would reduce the number of signatures needed to keep a party on the ballot by 75 percent. It would also reduce the vote total needed to stay on the ballot from 10 percent in the gubernatorial or presidential race to 2 percent.

Rep. Paul Miller, D-Durham, chief sponsor of the bill, said it would lead to more people getting involved in the election process.

"I think it’s good reason for both (Democrats and Republicans) to support the bill," Miller said.

So, why’d the BoE decertify us? Check out the reason given:

"We’d throw the whole election into chaos," said board member Charles Winfree, a Republican.

What??? "Throw the whole election into chaos"? Why? Because we’d actually have not one but two primaries? Better to take the expense of decertifying 13,000 Libertarians, which includes mailing them notices of their decertification, not to mention printing up new registration forms that are just going to become invalid again once we recertify (and we will be back, make no mistake, be it by petition, legislation, or lawsuit)?

No, the real reason is: the Democrats and Republicans can’t stand the competition. We’re growing, and they know it. They also know they’re shrinking; registered Libertarians are at an all-time high, and so are registered Unaffiliateds, but the total number of registered Democrats and Republicans is at an all-time low.

Never mind. This is a setback, nothing more. We will fight, and we will be back. Make no mistake about it. This just makes our resolve stronger, our urge to fight the elites in power for control of our own government even more invigorated.

One quick shot to leave you with here. This is a quote from Hugh Downs, former co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20:

I think it might be important to point out that this country is a one-party country. Half of that party is called Republican and half is called Democrat. It doesn’t make any difference. All the really good ideas belong to the Libertarians.