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Libertarian Party ready to take new state law to court

Libertarian Party ready to take new state law to court

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A federal lawsuit could be filed as early as Friday over a new state law that would change how third parties can get on the ballot.

The Ohio General Assembly approved Senate Bill 193 Wednesday and it was signed by Gov. John Kasich a couple of hours later. Among other changes, it mandates that minor parties collect signatures equal to a half-percent of the total votes cast in the latest gubernatorial election. That's estimated to be about 22,000 right now.

"It's fundamentally unfair for these changes to take place in the middle of an election season," said the Libertarian Party of Ohio's Aaron Keith.

Harris says to collect the required number of signatures they'll have to pull resources from campaigning. Opponents of the law have dubbed it the "Kasich Re-election Protection Act."

"What they've done is change the rules in the middle of the game because they're afraid of losing the game," said Harris.

While they are challenging the law in court, Harris says they'll also be working to comply with it in case their lawsuit isn't successful. He vows that one way or another their candidates will be on the statewide ballot in 2014.

Many political observers think that Gov. Kasich stands to be impacted the most by Libertarian Charlie Earl appearing on the ballot. That's because a lot of Republicans and conservatives have voiced displeasure over things like Kasich's stance on Medicaid expansion. Harris thinks Earl could see double-digit support in the race.

 

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