In a story I have not seen widely reported…the Libertarian Party and the Green Party in Maryland have lost their ballot access in Maryland elections.

The Libertarian and Green Parties have put out information on this topic on their websites:

A reader sent me the image of a letter they received in the mail:

I researched this and found this information on 71 Republic (Libertarian And Green Parties Lose Ballot Access In Maryland). I also found this article on Ballot Access News (Maryland Libertarian Party Files Federal Lawsuit Against Irrational Law on How Parties Remain on Ballot).

According to Ballotpedia…to maintain your party status in Maryland:

A newly qualified political party will retain its status as a political party until December 31 of the year of the second statewide general election following the party’s initial qualification. Thereafter, the political party can only retain its status by meeting either of the following requirements:[9]

  1. The party must nominate a candidate for the highest office on the ballot in a statewide general election. The party’s candidate must win at least 1 percent of the total votes cast for that office. By doing so, the party will retain its status until December 31 in the year of the next following general election.
  2. The party must demonstrate that, as of December 31 each year, at least 1 percent of the state’s registered voters are affiliated with the party. By doing so, the party will retain its status until December 31 of the next year.

In the event that a party loses qualified status, it can only regain qualified status by petitioning again for recognition.[9]

In the 2018 Maryland Gubernatorial election, Libertarian nominee Shawn Quinn received roughly 0.6% of the vote. Green nominee Ian Schlakman received about 0.5% of the vote. Both missed the 1% threshold to maintain party recognition.

The state of Maryland has not updated their website just yet…as they still list the following:

As of 2018, four political parties were recognized by the State Board of Elections: the Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Republican Party. The Americans Elect Party, the Constitution Party of Maryland, the Independent Party of Maryland, the Populist Party, and the Reform Party no longer are recognized as political parties by the State Board.

I would guess that both the Libertarian and Green Parties will petitioning again for recognition in Maryland. Both would need to get the 10,000 signatures verified by the State Board of Elections by December to get reinstated.

Another interesting aspect of this story is the new party that has popped up here in Maryland…the Bread and Roses Party. Here is information about the party from their website:

Bread and Roses, more fully, Bread and Roses/Peace and Justice, is a new national party, with its first State party in Maryland. In August 2018, Bread and Roses delivered 15,000 signatures to the Maryland Board of Elections to qualify as a non-major party in Maryland. When qualified, we will have the right to place our candidates on the ballot in Maryland for all local, state and national elections in Novembers 2020 and 2022.

Bread and Roses is “socialistic” in its ideals, open to New Socialists and Non-Socialist alike. We use these terms “socialistic” and “New Socialists” to communicate both that the goals of socialism are central to our outlook, but also that we have new ideas with respect to public policy, that we are not wedded to big Government, and that we seek to develop a new political culture that is experimental and modest rather than dogmatic with respect to predictions of actual consequences of any effort to build a better world. We are not clairvoyant. We believe in keeping ones eye on ultimate goals and values, and being a society that learns, even from failure.

What are your thoughts on the rules for party access to the ballot here in Maryland…do they seem appropriate or are they overly restrictive?

Scott E

1 COMMENT

  1. The Maryland Libertarian Party has 22,000 registered members, so it is irrational for the state to ask the party to go out and get 10,000 people to sign a petition saying they want the party on the ballot. It is obvious that there are already more than 10,000 people who want the party on the ballot — the registered members!

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