Third party won't be on Oklahoma's November ballot

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that local members of the Americans Elect Party didn't have the authority from the national group to seek having presidential and vice presidential nominees placed on the state's Nov. 6 general election ballot.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: September 14, 2012
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Lawhorn told election officials that members of the newly formed Oklahoma Americans Elect Party met earlier and agreed to have Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson and his vice presidential running mate, James Gray, listed as their party's nominees.

Leader argued during last week's hearing that even if members of the Oklahoma Americans Elect Party were authorized to nominate presidential electors, no Americans Elect Party candidates should appear on the ballot because the national party's board of directors chose not to field candidates. Electors, if chosen, would have no function; they signed an oath to vote for their party's presidential nominee, and the Americans Elect Party has no nominee.

Taylor wrote that the presidential elector nominees would be unable to fulfill their requirements and “cannot be placed on the November 2012 ballot.”

A Libertarian candidate hasn't been on Oklahoma's presidential ballot since 2000. In 2004 and 2008, Oklahoma was the only state that had only Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Write-in candidates are not allowed.

Americans Elect Party officials planned to hold the first-ever online nominating convention to select a president-and-vice president ticket, but the idea evaporated when no one stepped forward to run. Americans Elect Party officials decided in June to suspend their plans.

Efforts to obtain political party status this year in Oklahoma for the Libertarian Party came up short. To have names placed on state ballots, a political party has to get signatures of registered voters that equal at least 5 percent of the votes cast for the office at the top of the previous ticket, or for this year, the total votes cast in the 2010 gubernatorial race. The party needed 51,739 valid signatures.

The Libertarian Party earlier this year turned in about 56,000 signatures, of which 41,070 were determined to be registered voters. Americans Elect turned in about 90,000 signatures. It was determined 68,424 signatures were registered voters.