Gary Johnson is Forced to Make a Quick Trip to Tennessee; State Says He Must Personally Sign Each Petition Sheet

The deadline for independent presidential candidates to file petitions in Tennessee is noon, August 16, Thursday. The Libertarian Party is not ballot-qualified in Tennessee, so Gary Johnson supporters collected signatures for him as an independent. However, on August 14, the Johnson supporters learned for the first time that Tennessee is requiring each independent presidential candidate to personally sign each petition sheet. Johnson was forced to fly to Tennessee on very short notice. See this newspaper story.

Tennessee election officials also told Merlin Miller, the presidential candidate of American Third Position Party, and Rocky Anderson, presidential candidate of the Justice Party, that they must also sign each petition sheet. However, state officials told the Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, and the Constitution Party presidential candidate, Virgil Goode, that this is not a requirement. However, the latter two presidential candidates are nominees of ballot-qualified parties in Tennessee, so in any event they didn’t need a petition.

Tennessee requires 275 signatures for an independent presidential candidate, and also requires that presidential elector candidates supporting such presidential candidates meet a residency requirement, with one elector needed from each U.S. House district.


  1. J.D. FARGO · · Reply

    tennessee use to be a slam dunk you could a presidential candidate on the ballot with 1 elector and 25 signatures, the state changed on this in 2000 and now tries its damnest to keep all candidates off the ballot except democrats and republicans

  2. If Barack Obama and Mitt Romney had to fly to Tennessee to personally sign petition papers, the corporate owned media would have been all over it and the American people would have been outraged. If it’s Gary Johnson, not so much. I don’t know if I’m outraged more by Gary Johnson having to fly to Tennessee to sign the petitions or that the criteria for becoming a ballot qualified party is so strict as to keep the Libertarians from qualifying.

  3. Hi Richard,

    Merlin Miller was successful in getting the required electors in Tennessee. At a late date A3P needed 4 electors from districts 3,4,7, and 8. (Tennessee’s redistricting nullified earlier electors and a scramble ensued.)

    Merlin Miller, A3P presidential candidate, will submit the necessary documents tomorrow, Thursday, August 16 – which is the deadline.


  4. Austin Cassidy · · Reply

    @1 — Ummm… Tennessee still has one of the 5 easiest paths to Presidential ballot access in the entire country.

  5. Jim Riley · · Reply

    #2 They could arrange a campaign tour. You ought to be able to start in Johnson City early in the morning and end up in Memphis that evening, with stops in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Nashville, and Jackson.

  6. J.D. FARGO · · Reply

    #4 have you tried to get on the ballot in tn ? they have numerous hoopes you have tojump through

  7. Tired of chasing your own tail? Try pure proportional representation (PR)!

    The 9th USA Parliament

    Very Truly Yours,
    –James Ogle [Free Parliamentary]

    “Why do you THINK they called it Google?”

  8. Roseanne Barr said on her website she was trying to make it on the ballot in Tennessee, Iowa, Minnesota and a few others I think. I wonder if she will turn in a petition in Tennessee today?

  9. The requirement that candidates must have their original signature (not a photo copy of a signature) on each petition page is absolutely idiotic. Note to anyone doing a petition drive in Tennessee: make sure the candidate signs plenty of extra petition pages.

  10. J.D. FARGO · · Reply

    #9 tell it like it is, this is a prime example of making candidates besides the dand r jump through excessive and unnecessary hoopes

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