Ballot Discrimination In North Dakota

I was infuriated at seeing this item in the news. From the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead:

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Al Jaeger that was filed by three Libertarian candidates for the North Dakota Legislature who sought placement on the November ballot.

Richard Ames of Wahpeton, along with Grand Forks residents Thommy Passa and Anthony Stewart, argued that North Dakota’s ballot access requirements are unconstitutional because they require candidates to get a minimum number of primary election votes, even if they run unopposed.

It isn’t a partisan outrage. If these were Socialist candidates, I’d feel the same way. I detest the judge’s reasoning:

In an order issued today, District Court Judge Ralph R. Erickson wrote that states can require candidates to demonstrate a certain degree of support in a primary election.

Primary elections serve as a mechanism to “winnow out and reject all but serious candidates,” and ballot requirements allow states to avoid voter confusion, overcrowded ballots and frivolous candidates, Erickson wrote.

He concluded that North Dakota’s ballot requirements for the general election are “non-discriminatory and serve a compelling state interest.”

That’s bullcrap. What exactly does an ‘overcrowded ballot’ look like? And, what is a frivolous candidate? That’s for the voters to decide!

We have to work hard to make sure Mike Wherry gets his votes here in Indiana so that the Libertarian Party can maintain its ballot access for four more years. It isn’t safe to leave the matter in the hands of judges, as this example in North Dakota shows, and as we’re aware affected the Libertarian Party in Ohio for several years.

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