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Libertarians removed from statewide ballot

Libertarians removed from statewide ballot

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Two Libertarians have been kicked off the ballot after the Ohio Secretary of State ruled their petitions included too many invalid signatures.

The ruling mean Charles Earl, the party's candidate for governor, and Steven Linnabary, who was running for attorney general, are off the ballot.

Secretary of State Jon Husted agreed with a report from a hearing officer that signatures were gathered in violation of state law. One of the signature collectors, Oscar Hatchett, Jr., failed to identify the name and address of the person employing him.

Petition circulators are also supposed to be a member of the same political party as the candidate they are gathering signatures for. Several of the petitioners were not listed as members of the Libertarian Party. A protest filed with the Secretary of State's office alleged that some of the signature collectors were funded by the Ohio Democratic Party.

Both candidates needed 500 signatures to qualify for the ballot. After the invalid signatures were removed they didn't meet that requirement.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio holds its convention in Columbus this weekend.

There were concerns that Earl would pull votes away from Republican Governor John Kasich, hurting his chances for re-election.

The decision is likely to end up in court.

 

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