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Libertarian Party Responds to ?Unprecedented? GOP Challenge to Petitions

From: Marc
Sent on: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 12:51 AM
[Forwarded to you on behalf of Laura DelHomme]


I hope you all have had a safe, productive, fun Labor Day weekend. I'm writing to you in my capacity as chair of the Communications Committee for the Libertarian Party of Virginia.

Some of you might have already heard about the unprecedented challenge the Republican Party has filed against our presidential ticket in Virginia. Below is the press release that was sent out last night.

The State Board of Elections is scheduled to meet at 8:00 am September 4th (today -- Tuesday).  This meeting is supposed to be mainly to decide what order the political parties will have on the ballot; but the Republicans wrote a letter to the Board asking to have their objections to our petitions to bea heard.  The Republicans ave stated they object outright to the inclusion of the Libertarian and Constitution parties on the ballot AT ALL!  LPVA State Chair Chuck Moulton and Secretary Marc Montoni will be attending the meeting, which will take place at the State Board of Elections.  Here is the agenda:­

It is a  public meeting, so if you are in the Richmond area, please attend (please wear business attire).

We will continue to keep you updated as we find out more information.

In Liberty,

Laura Delhomme
<mailto:[address removed]>[address­ removed]
LPVA Communications Committee, Chair

P.S.  There will be some expenses to deal with in order to fight this challenge (travel costs, legal fees, possibly FOIA fees, etc) so if you can help out, it would be greatly appreciated.  Please visit http://Contribute...­ and throw a few dollars into the account.  **THANK YOU** for any help you can provide.  There is an option for "notes" on one of the payment pages, just paste in the phrase "Petition Challenge" in that box and we will direct your contribution to these expenses.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Libertarian Party Responds to ?Unprecedented? GOP Challenge to Petitions

(RICHMOND, September 3, 2012) --- In response to the unprecedented challenge by the Republican Party to the petitions filed on behalf of the Libertarian Party?s presidential ticket in Virginia, Chuck Moulton, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia, asserted that ?Republican elites are attempting to deny voters in Virginia their full range of choices when they go to vote in November, and are threatening the franchise of our men and women in uniform who are serving overseas and who must vote by absentee ballot.?

Moulton, who lives in Fairfax County, pointed out that, as a result of a settlement reached between the State Board of Elections and Republican lawyers in the case of McCain-Palin 2008 v. Cunningham, Virginia is under a court order to ensure that absentee ballots reach overseas and military voters in a timely manner. 

?This challenge by the Republican Party of Virginia, because it delays approval of the names of candidates who will appear on the ballot and the timely printing of absentee ballots,? Moulton explained, ?actually puts in jeopardy the ability of members of the armed forces to cast their votes for President and every other office with the confidence that those ballots will arrive in time to be counted.?

James Lark, who lives in Albemarle County and coordinated the petition drive, questioned the basis of the Republican Party?s challenge to the LP?s petitions.

?The LPVA submitted nearly 16,400 signatures on petitions to meet a requirement of 10,000 signatures statewide, including 400 valid signatures in each of 11 congressional district,? he said.  ?According to information from the State Board of Elections, election officials in counties and cities across the state identified a sufficient number of valid signatures to place LP presidential candidate Governor Gary Johnson and his running mate, Judge Jim Gray, on the 2012 ballot.?

Dr. Lark, who also coordinated the petition drives in 2004 and 2008, said this success rate tracks closely to those of previous years.  ?In 2008, LPVA presidential petitions had a validity rate of at least 74.7 percent; in 2004, our petitions had a validity rate of at least 76.6 percent.? 

He said that in neither of those years, when the LPVA petitions were circulated by essentially the same voters as in 2012 and the petition process was supervised by the same party officials, did the Republican Party challenge the validity of the petitions.

LPVA communications director Laura Delhomme, of Arlington County, posed some questions for Republican party officials.

?When the Republican Party casts aspersions on the integrity of the Libertarian Party activists who collect petition signatures, it is also calling into question the integrity of the local Electoral Boards and General Registrars whose responsibility it is to verify the signatures.  These same election officials,? Delhomme continued, ?count the signatures on petitions submitted by Republican candidates for every office in Virginia, from school board and city council to governor and U.S. Senator.?

Delhomme asked:  ?Is the Republican Party of Virginia willing to submit its own numerous petitions to the same scrutiny it insists the Libertarian Party deserves?  Is the Republican Party of Virginia willing to say that local Electoral Boards lack the necessary competence for counting and validating petition signatures, even though every Electoral Board in Virginia is controlled by Republicans?  Does the Republican Party of Virginia believe that local registrars are unable to count petition signatures accurately, dispassionately, and competently??

Citing Ballot Access News, ?the country?s go-to resource for questions of this sort,? Bill Redpath of Leesburg, the LP?s candidate for Virginia Governor in 2001 and for U.S. Senate in 2008, noted that ??Virginia has no procedure for any outside group to challenge a finding of elections officials that a petition is sufficient. If the Virginia Republican Party wishes to dispute the finding of the State Board of Elections, it must sue the Board.??

The Republican Party, Redpath said, is ?threatening to waste taxpayer dollars by forcing the State Board of Elections into a chimerical lawsuit aimed at reducing the number of choices available to Virginia voters when they go to the polls in November, a lawsuit doomed to failure at great cost.?

LPVA chairman Moulton concluded by insisting that the Republican Party of Virginia ?withdraw this frivolous and anti-democratic challenge to keep Governor Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray off the ballot in the Old Dominion.?

Republicans, Moulton said, ?owe the voters of Virginia, including Republican voters, more respect.?

Questions about the Libertarian Party of Virginia?s response to the Republican challenge to the LP?s presidential petitions may be directed to Chuck Moulton at <tel:%28215%29%[m­asked]>(215)[mask­ed] or <mailto:[address removed]>[address­ removed] or to communications director Laura Delhomme at <tel:%28571%29%[m­asked]>(571)[mask­ed] or <mailto:[address removed]>[address­ removed].

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