Michigan Secretary of State Files Response in New Libertarian Ballot Access Case

On September 12, the Michigan Secretary of State filed her response in Gelineau v Ruth Johnson, western district, 1:12-cv-976. Her brief says that it would be too difficult and expensive to add any Libertarian presidential candidate to the ballot. Of course, the reason there is little time left is that she didn’t tell the Libertarian Party that she would not print the name of Gary E. Johnson of Texas on the ballot until the end of the day on Friday, September 7. The party had made this request to her in June and she refused to answer for approximately 90 days, even though the party repeatedly asked for her to rule sooner.

She also has not yet said if write-in votes for Gary Johnson would be counted, even though he filed as a declared write-in candidate. And she has not yet answered the question of whether the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate can be on the ballot, and whether she recognizes that the Libertarian Party candidates for presidential elector are valid candidates.

Her brief says, “Needless to say, it is difficult to believe that Plaintiffs have a valid and legitimate interest in participation in the political process, ballot access, the unfettered right to the candidate of their choosing, etc., when they also assert an interest in ‘getting back’ at the Secretary of State for following Michigan law in barring the ‘original’ Gary Johnson from the ballot.” However, plaintiffs have not said anything in any legal papers about “getting back” at the Secretary of State. The state’s brief also says that the original Gary Johnson switched parties “on the eve of a general election”, yet actually Gary Johnson left the Republican Party and registered into the Libertarian Party in December 2011.

Also, the state’s brief says that Gary E. Johnson of Texas “has no chance of being elected the next president of the United States”. Yet five times in the past, Michigan has printed the names of presidential and vice-presidential candidates on the November ballot who were under age 35, and who therefore could not have served.

Shortly before the state’s brief was filed, the Sixth Circuit issued an order in the first ballot access case, declining to halt ballot printing, but maintaining the expedited briefing schedule in the Sixth Circuit for the original case.

10 comments

  1. Sounds like Michigan has violated the constitution by placing candidates who are not constitutional qualified on the ballot in the past. Given that response does that mean they should not have printed anyone but Obama on the ballot in 08 because the polls showed he was the only that could win.

  2. Wow, how would a judge not see this as immature partisan drivel? PA and OK I get, but this is insane.

  3. Tom Yager · · Reply

    How sophomoric. This is the set of arguments put forth by the individual responsible for administering the elections of an entire state? Rocky Anderson has no chance of being elected President of the United States, either. He will not appear on enough ballots to have a mathematical chance at winning the Electoral College. Should his name not be printed as the nominee of the Natural Law Party of Michigan?

  4. Each SOS in Michigan is a TOTAL robot party hack – chosen at a party hack convention by the top party hack gangsters. — party hack business as usual.

    TOTAL pressure on the Mich SOS from the Elephants Romney gang — in the event that Romney has even a 1 percent chance of winning in Michigan (and becoming Prez) IF Johnson was NOT on the ballots.

    P-O-W-E-R politics at work.

    Michigan Atty. Gen. is another TOTAL robot party hack.

    Both SOS and AG currently are Elephants.


    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V. — the latter to get NONPARTISAN executive officers.

  5. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    This is reason enough to never vote Republican. How can a party that once stood for freeing the slaves now be so committed to denying freedom? Just terrible.

  6. Walter Ziobro · · Reply

    I’ll bet that Michigan goes ahead and prints its ballots without either Johnson listed, ignoring any order to cease and desist, arguing that it has a compelling state interest to make sure the ballots are ready by election day.

  7. Casual Bystander · · Reply

    At least the absentee ballots sent to the troops overseas will not include the one nominee who would allow them to vote their way back home. What a travesty.

  8. The Republican National Committee has stopped advertising in the state of Michigan, in essence admitting that Romney will lose in one of his home states. Apparently they won’t be able to blame this loss on Gary Johnson.

  9. More election fraud from the GOP. What a surprise.

  10. Ruth Johnson received campaign contributions FROM Romney and also was considered to be a campaign chair for Romney in Michigan. How is this not a conflict of interest?

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