Washington state Libertarians sue to keep Romney off ballot

The (Tacoma) News TribuneAugust 17, 2012 

The Libertarian Party of Washington has notified the Secretary of State’s office that it has filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court asserting that Republicans’ presidential ticket does not qualify for a place on the November ballot.

Libertarians say the GOP does not have major party status, which it contends is reserved for parties that hold a nominating convention within the state and collect at least 1,000 signatures by Aug. 3. The party cites a state law that Secretary of State spokesman Dave Ammons says was used during the pick-a-party primary from 2004 through 2007 and remains on the books.

Ammons points out that top two, a nonpartisan winnowing process, does not use the terms major and minor parties.

“The major-minor distinction is, however, retained for the presidential tickets,” Ammons wrote. “Libertarians’ attorney, J. Mills of Tacoma, argues in his complaint that to remain a major party, the Republican nominee needed 5 percent of the vote for U.S. Senate in 2010, and that neither Dino Rossi nor Clint Didier was officially nominated by the Republican Party.”

The state’s view, as expressed in a memo from Katie Blinn, elections co-director, is that the 2008 presidential race kept the Republicans in major party status.

“Because the Republican and Democratic nominees for president and vice-president both received at least 5 percent of the total votes cast for that office in the 2008 presidential election, those parties retain their status as major parties until the next presidential election at which their nominees do not receive at least 5 percent of the votes cast,” she wrote.

The Libertarians contend that GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney must run as a write-in in Washington.

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