Judge Rejects Libertarian Party's Ballot Access Challenge

Aug 28, 2015


Credit xandert / Morguefile

A federal judge has upheld a New Hampshire law the Libertarian Party argued could prevent its candidates from getting on the ballot.

Libertarians sued Secretary of State William Gardner last year, challenging new limits on how long parties have to collect signatures to petition their way onto the ballot. State law requires a third party to collect signatures equal to 3 percent of the total votes cast during the prior election. Under the change, parties can't begin gathering signatures until Jan. 1 of the election year.

In a ruling Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro says though the law makes it "marginally more difficult" for third parties to gain ballot access, it is justified by the state's interest in requiring parties to demonstrate a sufficient level of support.