Republicans work to keep Libertarians off the ballot in Texas

Much like they do around the country, Democratic and Republican state parties continue to petition the courts to keep Libertarian and Green party candidates off the ballot. They are doing the same in Texas with a last ditch effort by the Texas House Republican Caucus PAC and the National Republican Congressional Committee are attempting to keep 40 Libertarian Party candidates off the November 3, 2020 ballot. Democrats recently have been successful in giving the boot to Green Party candidates around the country to lessen their competition and Texas Libertarians recently won a round being sued by the Democrats, getting their complaint dismissed in the Third Court of Appeals. Not to be outdone, the Republicans filed the same day with the Supreme Court of Texas.

Supreme Court of Texas — Credit: http://www.txcourts.gov/supreme/

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen is not in jeopardy of being removed from the Texas ballot. The 40 Libertarian candidates show up as “Qualified Candidates” on the Texas Secretary of State’s election website.

Libertarian candidates filed during a time where a judge had temporarily blocked a law forcing candidates to pay a fee to be on the ballot, while other Libertarian candidates filed in opposition to the law requiring fees be paid to be on the ballot. In their plea, plaintiffs state, “Texas law requires a candidate for public office to pay a filing fee or submit a petition in lieu of a filing fee. Candidates seeking public office as members of the Libertarian Party of Texas refused to pay filing fees. The Libertarian Party of Texas and its Chair have a legal duty to reject these applications. Despite demand to do so, the Party and its Chair refuse to comply with their legal obligations.” The time to challenge the candidates’ eligibility has passed; however, the Republicans are arguing they have until September 18, 2020, to challenge the Libertarian candidates’ application.

There is an ongoing battle whether it is constitutional to require candidates to pay a fee to be on the ballot, and this is the crux of the matter. “It’s a last-ditch effort on their part,” said Libertarian Party of Texas Chair Whitney Bilyeu. “They’re clearly desperate to do everything they can to remove voter choice at the polls to continue to have a one-party state here in Texas.”



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