Libertarian Party of Ohio files for minor party status on ballot this fall

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Libertarian Party of Ohio has submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to be formally recognized as a minor party. And that could open the door to its candidates being on the ballot with the title “libertarian” next to their names.

The Libertarian presidential and vice presidential candidates, Chase Oliver and Mike ter Maat.
Chase Oliver and Mike ter Maat, Libertarian candidates for President and Vice President in 2024/ [Libertarian Party of America |]
Libertarian Party of Ohio chair Dustin Nanna said more than 87,000 signatures have been submitted from all 88 Ohio counties. He said if more than 42,000 are deemed valid by the Secretary of State’s office, the party will be again recognized as a minor party.

“What that entitles us to do is be back on the ballot. And we now have to get 3% in either the next of the presidential later this year or the gubernatorial election in 2026,” Nanna said.

The last time the party’s candidates were recognized on the Ohio ballot was in 2020. Presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen got about 1.1% of the vote, short of the three percent required to maintain status on future ballots as a 2014 law prescribes.

Nanna said his party plans to have candidates up and down the ballot this year. And he said a lot of voters who support Libertarian candidates currently wouldn’t vote for either of the presumed major party candidates in the presidential or U.S. Senate races.

“There are a lot of libertarians out there that would refuse to vote for either of the other two options in either race. I know a lot of libertarians who just don’t vote when there’s no libertarian on the ballot,” Nanna said.

Would Republicans or Democrats benefit from this?

Libertarians in Congress have tended to side more with Republicans than Democrats on key issues. But Nanna said while there will be a Libertarian candidate for president, that doesn’t mean the Republican candidate would have necessarily got those votes.

“I also know people who might be inclined to vote Republican or Democrat but that’s only because they haven’t been provided with another option,” Nanna said. “So it’s up to us to convince people that our candidate is somebody you want to vote for as opposed to, what a lot I think happens today is, people go to the polls to vote against one or the other. And the moment you have more than two choices, it opens the door for the opportunity to do that.”

If Libertarians regain minor-party status in Ohio this year, they must get at least 3% of voters in the upcoming presidential election or the next gubernatorial contest. If that doesn’t happen, they would lose party status and have to go through this petition process all over again.