North Dakota Attorney General Ponders Whether to Remove Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate from November Ballot

Al Jaeger, North Dakota Secretary of State, has asked Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to decide whether Roland Riemers may remain on the November 2012 ballot as the Libertarian nominee for Governor. See this story. Due to a paperwork error, the Libertarian running for Lieutenant Governor was kept off the Libertarian primary ballot, so the party has no Lieutenant Governor nominee. In North Dakota primaries, candidates for Governor run separately from candidates for Lieutenant Governor. But in the general election, they run as a team.

In Wisconsin in 2010, the Libertarian Party had a candidate in the primary for Lieutenant Governor, but not for Governor. Wisconsin election officials permitted the Lieutenant Governor candidate to be on the ballot in November, even though Wisconsin has the same system, in which Governor and Lieutenant Governor run separately in primaries but as a team in November.

Also, in 1986, Illinois Democrats had a nominee on the November ballot for Lieutenant Governor, but no one for Governor, and that was permitted. The Democratic ticket of no one for Governor and someone for Lieutenant Governor received 6.6% of the November 1986 vote. That vote was essential for keeping the Democratic Party on the ballot. If the ticket had polled under 5% of the vote, the Democratic Party would have lost its status as a qualified party. The reason Democrats had no candidate for Governor that year was that the winner of the Democratic primary, Adlai E. Stevenson III, resigned from the Democratic ticket rather than run in November teamed with a supporter of Lyndon LaRouche.

If the North Dakota Libertarian Party has no nominee on the November 2012 ballot for Governor, the only way it can remain ballot-qualified will be if Gary Johnson, the presidential nominee, polls at least 5%.

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