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New Mexico Libertarian Ballot Access Case Settled in U.S. District Court

New Mexico Libertarian Ballot Access Case Settled in U.S. District Court

From Ballot Access News on August 17, 2020:

On August 17, a Libertarian Party ballot access case in New Mexico was settled. A final order from a U.S. District Court documents that the New Mexico Secretary of State now agrees that Stephen Curtis received enough write-in votes in the June Libertarian primary to qualify for a spot on the general election ballot. As a write-in candidate in a primary, the law required not only that he receive more votes than any other candidate for the nomination, but that he receive at least 270 write-ins.

The four-page order also says “The Secretary of State will in the future ensure that all county clerks properly account for all write-in votes on the proper tally sheet in subsequent elections.” Here is the order in Curtis v Toulouse Oliver, 1:20cv-748.

The Libertarian Party’s chances of polling at least 5% of the total vote cast in November 2020 for one of its nominees is now enhanced. It isn’t likely that the party will poll 5% for president or U.S. Senate, but it has a good chance of polling 5% for State Court of Appeals. Minor party nominees receive higher percentages of the vote when they are running for an office in which the typical voter doesn’t care too much about who wins. In 2018 the New Mexico Libertarian Party received 5.77% for Land Commissioner.

The difference in being a major party compared to a minor party in New Mexico is significant, as minor party candidates must collect as much as thirty times the number to get onto the ballot as major party candidates. For example, minor party non-presidential statewide candidates had to submit at least 6,965 signatures from registered New Mexico voters to appear on this November’s general election ballot, whereas Libertarian Party statewide candidates only needed to turn in 230 signatures.