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Florida Secretary Of State Denies Ballot Access To Libertarian Governor Candidate

from Ballot Access News
Florida Secretary of State Removes Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate from Ballot
September 4th, 2010

The Florida Secretary of State’s office has removed John Wayne Smith from the November ballot.  He is the Libertarian Party’s candidate for Governor.  The Secretary of State’s office says he didn’t submit all the necessary forms.  However, Smith says he submitted all forms in person on June 17, and he has witnesses and photos of himself submitting the paperwork.  The Secretary of State [FL Interim Secretary of State is Dawn K. Roberts] now says he did submit a form that shows that his Lieutenant Governor running mate, J. J. McCurry, is a registered Libertarian, but says he did not submit another form designating McCurry as Smith’s running mate.  Smith says he has copies of that form, which had been notarized.  Unfortunately he did not get a receipt for each document from the Secretary of State’s office.

Smith was notified about the missing paperwork only one hour before the deadline to have replaced it, and he was unable to do so.  He and McCurry would have been the first gubernatorial ticket on the Florida ballot with the Libertarian party name.

Kimberly writes: This action of the Florida Secretary of State is bogus under any condition. Either the man did file the papers, and he should be on the ballot immediately and of right, or the man did not file the papers, and he should have been advised of that at the time of filing.

It is not difficult to figure out why actions like those of the Florida Secretary of State’s Office happen. I have been through this with my local Board of Elections. When a Democrat or Republican candidate go to the Board of Elections, the clerks act like advocates, helping them file, and advising them on the goings on. When third party candidates show up, the patronage employees, hangers on of the elite status quo duoploy in power do everything in their power to thwart, slow down and make uncomfortable. It is the way systems work.

Third party folks should not let this incident go. There should be an investigation into why no one at the Secretary of State’s Office saw the alleged error and notified the candidate earlier. And/or why the paperwork was lost or destroyed.

Also, a law suit should be considered. [My humble, non-attorney opinion.] Yes, law suits from candidates have a very specific path they are told they must follow in the courts. Though, candidates and electoral activists need to think of different ways to get these cases out of the assigned courts, which courts are lined with allies of the Dems and Reps. In the least, activists should get a citizen in the district to file based on that citizen losing the chance to vote for a variety of candidates. Or, have the candidate persist in filing at a Federal Level saying that their civil rights were violated or something.

There should be a way – through media, through the courts, or through a prosecutor’s office – to utilize this interesting dilemma to push the issue of equal treatment at the Secretary of State’s Office to a detailed finale. And, third party supporters and electoral activists should find that way.

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