On July 5, Wayne Stenehjem ruled that Roland Riemers may not appear on the November ballot as the Libertarian Party nominee for Governor, even though he was nominated at the party’s primary last month. North Dakota elects Governors and Lieutenant Governors jointly in November. Voters see a ticket, consisting of a candidate for Governor and for Lieutenant Governor, and voters only vote for tickets for those offices. However, in the primary, candidates for those offices run separately.
Here is the ruling. It says because no Libertarian was nominated at the party’s primary for Lieutenant Governor, the gubernatorial candidacy is not allowed. The Libertarian Party had a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, but because of a flaw in his candidacy papers, he did not appear on the primary ballot.
The ruling takes no notice that in certain other states that elect Governors and Lieutenant Governors jointly in November, but separately in the primary, parties have been permitted to run a candidate for one office without the other one. Such instances occurred in Wisconsin in 2010, and in Illinois in 1986.
As a result of this ruling, the Libertarian Party will be removed from the ballot after November 2012 unless Gary Johnson receives at least 5% of the vote. The vote test, in presidential years, applies to the presidential nominee and alternatively applies to the Gubernatorial nominee. If either gets 5%, the party remains on the ballot.