Libertarians criticize bill outlining Ohio ballot rules

by Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch  |  published on October 9, 2013

COLUMBUS – Libertarians and other minor political parties say they will be kicked off the ballot under a bill that passed a divided Ohio Senate yesterday.

Ohio has been without any formal criteria for recognizing minority parties since a federal court struck them down in 2006. Secretaries of state have been recognizing minor parties via directives.

Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, said Senate Bill 196 would legalize ballot access and set clear rules for everyone to follow. But the Libertarian Party is calling it the “John Kasich Re-Election Protection Act.” The presumption is that a Libertarian candidate would “steal” more votes from GOP incumbent Kasich than the Democratic candidate in 2014.

The bill passed 22-11 and now moves to the House.

“This is machine-style politics at its very worst,” said Kevin Knedler, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Ohio.

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