Libertarians blame GOP backed law for unusual filing

Ohio Senator John Eklund, Republican (credit Ohio Senate)

The recent petition signature filing by Ohio Libertarians to get a presidential candidate on the statewide ballot this fall raises questions about how it was done. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

 The Libertarian Party of Ohio raised eyebrows when it said it was filing petitions to put Presidential candidate Gary Johnson on the statewide ballot but then submitted petitions that listed former gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl instead.

Spokesman Aaron Keith Harris says, because of a recently passed state law regarding minor parties, his group had to file petitions using someone as a placeholder on the ballot in case a federal court rules in favor of his organization’s lawsuit. “We’d like to put the Libertarian candidate for president on the Ohio ballot the easy way like the Republican and Democrats do but thanks to John Kasich and Jon Husted, we can’t do that. We had to do it this way.”

Harris says the new law, which he says makes it very difficult for his party to be recognized on the Ohio ballot, was designed to help make sure the Libertarian candidate didn’t take votes away from Kasich in 2014. But a Republican state senator who backed that legislation, John Eklund, says that’s wrong.

“The bill was never designed to, nor intended to, nor motivated by any desire to help or hurt anybody because everybody is playing by the same rules at the end of the day. Heaven knows if it was the John Kasich 

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