M. Thomas, the Michigan Director of Elections, sent a letter dated
Friday, September 7, to Bill Gelineau, the Libertarian Party of Michigan
political director, saying the name of Gary E. Johnson of Austin,
Texas, a former national secretary of the Libertarian Party, "will not
appear on the November 6, 2012 general election ballot."
was sent the same day that U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman of the
Southern Division of the Eastern District Court issued his written
opinion that the name of Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of
New Mexico, could not appear on the Michigan general election ballot
because of the state's so-called "sore loser law."
Johnson's name was on the Republican primary ballot on February 28, in
spite of his effort to withdraw. The "sore loser law" prohibits a
candidate who was on one party's primary ballot from appearing on the
general election ballot as the candidate of another party.
Libertarian Party has ballot access in Michigan because it received more
than a certain percentage of the vote in a previous election. As a
"qualified" party under the Michigan Election Law, it is entitled to
list all of its candidates on the ballot.
Governor Johnson won the Libertarian nomination for President at the party's national convention in Las Vegas on May 5.
at the state convention in Livonia on Saturday, June 2, knowing of the
"sore loser law" controversy, nominated both Johnson of New Mexico and
Johnson of Texas for President.
that their first choice was for the former Governor. But, the delegates
nominated Gary E. Johnson of Texas as a substitute "stand-in" candidate
if their court challenge to the "sore loser law" did not prevail.
The Libertarian Party of Michigan notified the state of its Presidential nomination and electors on Monday, June 4.
Johnson of Texas expressed shock that Michigan was refusing to put any
Libertarian Presidential candidate on the ballot.
that the Republican Party, which had intervened in the case on the side
of the state, had declared in its written brief, "the statute does not
prohibit ... the Party from nominating virtually whoever it wants as its
candidate for President.... The statue's only effect is to prevent the
Party from nominating as its candidate any of a few dozen people who ran
for a different party's nomination in a primary election earlier this
pointed out that Judge Borman wrote about the Libertarian Party of
Michigan (LPM), "Nor is defendant LPM prevented from nominating the
candidate of its choice, but only prevented from nominating one of the
handful of candidates who choose to run for a different political party
in the primary race."
said, "The Libertarian Party is entitled under the Michigan Election Law
to have somebody on the ballot as its candidate for President. If it is
not going to be Governor Johnson, then I am that somebody."
Michigan Libertarian Party will file suit in the Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals to compel the state to put Gov. Gary Johnson on the ballot and
failing that, to order the state to put Gary E. Johnson of Austin,
Texas, on the ballot. The Libertarians have vowed to seek an injection
to stop the printing of the ballot.