The year is 2012. Gary Johnson is making his first Libertarian presidential run. The spotlight is shining on Libertarians like it really hasn’t before, due to heightened awareness and also the hard work of several candidates’ campaigns. Arizona Libertarian candidates garnered enough of the vote in 2 key races to exceed the spread between Republican and Democrat totals. The results were 2 losses for the Republicans. Their sour grapes grumble is to blame Libertarians, casting us as unqualified interlopers that, had we not been there (on the ballot) surely those votes would have gone to the Republican candidates ensuring their victories.
Fast forward to 2015. Republicans are pushing a bill to change candidate signature requirements. This is not the first attempt. In 2013, a previous bill that increased third party signature requirements was repealed after a successful veto referendum.
HB2608, by changing who can sign a Libertarian candidate nomination petition, significantly increased the minimum number of signatures required for all offices. For governor this increase was more than 2200% to 3023. (* The actual number of signatures required for the 2018 cycle will not be released until this March.)
Signed by Governor Ducey, the bill is an admitted attempt to keep Libertarians off the ballot, keep them from “siphoning off” votes from Republican candidates and make it easier for Republicans to win.
HB2608 did more than up Libertarian signature requirements by 22 times, it also changed laws making it harder to get voter backed referendums on the ballot as well and quintupled individual donor limits. This is all designed to favor the Republicans and extinguish 3rd party, particularly Libertarian candidates.
With no chance of a second referendum coming to the rescue, The AZLP filed a suit against the Secretary of State but lost.
In 2016, other than Gary Johnson, Arizona Libertarians were left out of the general election.
The Libertarian Party is growing, while the Democrat and Republican parties are both withering, their members leaving to become registered independents, the largest body of registered voters in Arizona. But Independents have an even tougher time getting on the ballot with minimum signature requirements 2.5 to 5 times higher than the major parties and with no organization to support their efforts. Yes Independents have also been effectively cast off the ballot.
ALL of this is an effort to keep your choices on the ballot L I M I T E D.
However, if we stand together, we can send a clear message to the Republicans and Democrats. This year Libertarians can collect 100% of their signatures online. It takes less than 5 minutes and will help our candidates spread the Libertarian Party message.