Thursday, August 09, 2012

Exclusive: Conflict and Confusion - Will Gary Johnson be on Oklahoma's ballot?


Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, erstwhile GOP-candidate-turned-Libertarian-Party-nominee, missed out on making the ballot in Oklahoma when the Oklahoma Libertarian Party failed to submit enough validated signatures to receive a ballot access. However, the story may not be over yet for Johnson and his Oklahoma Libertarian Party supporters.

Americans Elect successfully waged a ballot access campaign in Oklahoma earlier this year, with the intention of nominating a presidential candidate through their unconventional online voting process. The venture ultimately failed, as no candidate met their stated criteria, and thus the group did not nominate a candidate, after getting on the ballot in over 30 states.

All political parties had until August 8th to submit their nominees for president and vice-president (technically, they submit electors pledged to their party nominees).

On August 7th, Rex Lawhorn (Oklahoma state chairman of Americans Elect) submitted electors to the State Election Board for ballot certification. These electors were pledged to Gary Johnson for President and James Gray for Vice-President, the Libertarian Party candidates.

Americans Elect - State


But in a letter dated August 6th, the national Americans Elect organization wrote to the State Election Board intending to dissolve their status as a political party in Oklahoma.

Americans Elect - National


I contacted the State Election Board to ask some questions about the situation, and received a response from State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax.

"Attached are PDF scans of conflicting correspondence to the State Election Board from the national Americans Elect organization and an in-state group that says it is the Oklahoma chapter of Americans Elect. This is a very unusual situation, so we are seeking legal advice from our counsel at the Attorney General’s office about how to proceed," Ziriax told me in an email.

When there is an update to this story, I will post it.

0 comments: