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Republican President candidate Mitt Romney has likely lost his last hope for a victory in the electoral-rich state of Pennsylvania.
Commonwealth Court Senior Judge James G. Colins ruled late today that the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania has filed nominating petitions containing more than the required 20,601 valid signatures and that the entire slate of statewide Libertarian candidates will remain on the November 6 general election ballot, including Libertarians two-term Governor Gary Johnson for President and Judge Jim Gray for Vice President.
The ruling was a stinging defeat for Republicans who waged a grueling and expensive 9-week battle to force their Libertarian Party competition off the November ballot.
Governor Johnson said, “It is a travesty of the democratic process that Libertarians were required to endure such a drawn-out, expensive and unnecessary attack on their right to be on the ballot. Voters in every state deserve real choices in this election, and it is clear that the Republican Party, not only in Pennsylvania, but in key states across the country, will go to any lengths to keep liberty, nonintervention and smaller government off the ballot.”
With little money and an army of dedicated volunteers, the LP stood up to the superior resources of the Republican Party, never once considering capitulation, even though faced with the possibility of a significant assessment of costs, sanctions and attorneys fees that may be assessed on the losing party.
Statewide Libertarian candidates were required to file nominating petitions containing at least 20,601 signatures, far more than most states require and many times the number that the old party candidates must file. On August 1, Libertarians filed petitions containing over 49,000 signatures, more than twice the number needed.
Libertarians were required to field teams of at least 20 people each day for two weeks in Philadelphia. Each was paired with a Republican and a computer operator in order to tediously review challenged signatures. A similar operation was conducted in Harrisburg the following week. After this effort, approximately 14,000 signatures remained contested. For the next four weeks, four teams of lawyers and volunteers meticulously re-reviewed the contested signatures under court supervision.
The herculean effort to defend against the challenge was supported by more than 85 very dedicated volunteers hailing from seven states. Roy Minet, who coordinated the massive, marathon volunteer effort, stated, “Our volunteers are truly noble. We appreciate that we even had a few Green Party volunteers.” Surprisingly, the Greens were not challenged this time around. “Some Republicans, who said they couldn’t ‘stomach’ what their party was trying to do, helped us as well,” Minet added.
The Libertarian Party is the party of small government with over a quarter million registered Libertarians.
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