The former New Mexico governor (and Republican presidential aspirant) Gary Johnson won the Libertarian Party’s nomination this weekend. But he won’t be appearing on Michigan’s ballot this November, according to Secretary of State Ruth Johnson — a Republican, as Ballot Access News notes. The site reports:
The basis for the refusal is Michigan statute 168.695, which says, “No person whose name was printed or placed on the primary ballots or voting machines as a candidate for nomination on the primary ballots of one political party shall be eligible as a candidate of any other political party at the election following the primary.” This law was passed in 1955, at a time when Michigan did not have a presidential primary. In 1980, John B. Anderson formed the “Anderson Coalition Party” within Michigan, and his name was printed as that party’s presidential nominee in November 1980, even though Anderson had run in the Michigan Republican presidential primary on May 20. Thus, a precedent was set that this law does not apply to presidential primary candidates.
The secretary of state, of course, doesn’t see things that way. “Sore loser” laws are useful for keeping third parties from picking up big-name candidates — well, bigger than Michael Badnarik, anyway. And if voters’ choices are constrained? Perhaps the Ukrainians will send us some election monitors.
Full story here.