The Sinister Attack on Ballot Access in New York
In 2018 the Libertarian Party of New York earned automatic ballot access for the first time in history thanks to the gubernatorial ticket of Larry Sharpe and Andrew Hollister. LPNY needed to gather a minimum of 15,000 signatures during a six-week period to get our statewide candidates on the ballot. In the end, we collected more than 31,000 signatures.
Under the laws at the time, earning more than 50,000 votes in the gubernatorial race guaranteed ballot access — the Sharpe/Hollister ticket earned 95,033 votes, giving LPNY ballot access through 2022.
Several Libertarians in New York were elected to local office in 2019, and in 2020 we were able to get a historic number of Libertarian candidates on the ballot for state and federal offices. Additionally, we were able to place our Presidential ticket, Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen, on the ballot in New York without the need to gather signatures.
However, in late 2019, now disgraced Governor Cuomo established a “Public Campaign Finance” Commission, purportedly to develop plans for public financing of elections. Instead, the commission unexpectedly introduced measures that TRIPLED vote thresholds for maintaining ballot access, TRIPLED the minimum number of signatures that must be collected for a statewide candidate to reach the ballot, and DOUBLED the frequency for when the state party must provide ballot access qualifications. If all of that wasn’t enough, the commissars moved the signature collecting window from the summer, when New Yorkers are out and about, to the late winter/early spring, when it is obviously much more difficult to find people willing to talk to someone outside.
A lawsuit was filed by two alternative parties, and the commission that recommended these measures was declared unconstitutional. Nevertheless, in April 2020, under cover of the pandemic and New York’s draconian COVID-19 lockdown, the commission’s recommendations were re-introduced and ratified along with the New York State FY21 Budget.
The Libertarian Party of New York and the Green Party of New York have filed a joint Federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. We have been denied a request for a temporary injunction, and this decision is currently under appeal in the Second Circuit. No final decision has been rendered in our case. We must prepare for whatever ruling is made.
It will cost no less than $250,000 for paid petitioners to give us any chance of getting our candidates on the statewide ballot and to attempt to regain automatic ballot access. Stacey Prussman, who is currently running an active campaign for New York City mayor, already had to spend approximately $12,000 to stay
Article from Libertarian Party