The Libertarian Party of Arkansas gained ballot recognition on Friday.
Last month, the party submitted signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in order to fulfill the requirement of collecting at least 10,000 valid signatures from registered voters in the state. Officials with the Secretary of State confirmed the signature threshold was met.
During the 2012 general election, more than 100,000 votes were cast for Libertarian candidates in Arkansas. However, the Libertarian Party was required to re-petition the state after Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate, did not receive three percent of the vote in 2012.
The group says it will nominate candidates at their convention, scheduled for February 21-23 in Little Rock, which could include three potential candidates for Governor.
“While we are excited about the prospect of running candidates in 2014, I must say, this has been an exhausting process,” said Jessica Paxton, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas. “The ballot access laws in our great state were written by Democrats and Republicans who have a vested interest in imposing crippling requirements on anyone who dares to challenge them.”
Libertarians traditionally advocate lower taxes, more personal freedom and less government intervention.
“A major issue here is that hundreds of thousands of voters cast their ballot for third party and independent candidates every two years here in Arkansas,” said Paxton, who explained that the ballot access process costs nearly $40,000. “And the powers that be are trying to silence that dissenting voice by requiring this petition process that costs tens of thousands of dollars, takes thousands of man-hours and then, by the time we have access to the ballot, our resources have been exhausted before campaigning even begins.”
If the Libertarian gubernatorial nominee earns 3% of the vote in the 2014 election, the party will automatically retain ballot access for 2016.