Michigan Libertarian Party Continues Fighting in Court to Let Voters Vote "Libertarian" Without the Need for a Write-in

Both of the Michigan Libertarian Party ballot access cases are still actively trying to win a court ruling that will make it possible for voters to vote “Libertarian” for President without the need to cast a write-in vote.

In the original case, to get Governor Gary Johnson on the ballot, the party filed this brief on September 26 in the Sixth Circuit. That case is Libertarian Party of Michigan v Ruth Johnson, 12-2153. This brief submits evidence that even though Michigan said it had to print all its ballots earlier in the month, in reality it only had to print its overseas absentee ballots.

In the case that was filed earlier this month, Gelineau v Ruth Johnson, to get Gary Johnson of Austin, Texas, on the November ballot as the Libertarian presidential nominee, the party filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court on September 26, arguing that there is no valid reason why the state cannot let Libertarian straight-ticket voters have their straight-ticket votes counted for the Libertarian Party slate of electors. Also the brief points out that the state could have printed ballots that list Vice-Presidential nominee James Gray on the ballot; the state has never offered one reason why his name was not certified for the ballot. He was the original party nominee, certified in June, and the party never attempted to replace him. UPDATE: the U.S. District Court in this case has just instructed the Secretary of State to respond to the new filing by Monday, October 1, at 10 a.m.


  1. Is there a somewhat clearly demarcated group of states that the LP has regular ballot access + states where the LP gets in with minimal support? If so, how many states is that? Would there be a downside to writing off the remaining states for the time being, and dumping the money spent on legal fees into advertising into the group of states I am envisioning?

  2. Richard Winger · · Reply

    Legal fees are minimal in these particular Michigan lawsuits.

  3. Mr. Winger,

    Is the “Legal fees are minimal” argument the reason why it would make no sense for the LP to avoid the fight in the most difficult ballot access states? I.E., there really wouldn’t be any major savings involved?

  4. #3, the Michigan legal fight is of the utmost importance for future presidential elections. The history of the U.S., and of the entire world, would have been different if in 1912, states had claimed that someone who runs in the presidential primary of one party cannot then be the nominee of another political party.

  5. Due to time delays (aka laches) the whole mess may have to be redone in the future.

    As usual —
    Abolish the STONE AGE time bomb gerrymander electoral college.
    Abolish ALL STONE AGE time bomb caucuses, primaries and conventions.
    Uniform definition of Elector in ALL of the U.S.A.

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

    ONE election day.

  6. 12th Amdt E.C. Electors are STATE officials.

    The Federal 45 day absentee ballot stuff for FEDERAL offices does NOT apply.

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