The Kentucky Board of Elections has determined that third party candidates are to be treated as “independent candidates”. This forces the CPKY and LPKY to petition for ballot access for every candidate who seeks office. The current petition requirements are 5000 signatures per candidate for president and all statewide offices, 400 signatures per candidate for US House, and 100 signatures per candidate for a state house or senate seat. For example, this means that running a full slate of candidates for national, statewide, state congressional, and County offices would require the collection of a minimum of 151,480 signatures for the 2018 election cycle. By contrast, the Ds and Rs each need a total of 5,040 signatures to run for every office statewide in that year. Between 2015-2019, we would need 205,788 signatures to run for every office in that 4-year cycle. Ds and Rs each would only need 5,324. Over a decade we would need 470,884 signatures.
Currently, the only way for a party to gain general ballot access in Kentucky is by that party winning 2% of the vote in a presidential race. This secures ballot access for a period of four years. Historically in Kentucky, with four exceptions in the past 100 years, the only Political Parties or Political Organizations that qualified for automatic ballot access was the Democratic and Republican Parties. Kentucky law provides no other way for a party to gain general ballot access. However, the US Supreme Court in Stover v Brown held that states must treat independent and minor parties differently, and provide procedures for ballot access for each. There have also been several lower court decisions that have held that states must provide a mechanism by which parties may qualify for general ballot access.
We believe that this situation reinforces the status quo and does not allow for a real and equal opportunity for ballot qualification. We also believe that those who enforce the current ballot access regime have abused the authority of their respective offices violating the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the third party voters of Kentucky.
That is why the Libertarian Party of Kentucky, the Constitution Party of Kentucky and the Libertarian National Committee have moved to file a lawsuit in Federal court against the State of Kentucky
Through this legal action, we hope to establish general ballot access for all third and minor parties. We do not wish to challenge the ability of independent or even individual candidates to obtain ballot access, but rather to challenge the regime as far as political parties, and specifically minor parties, are concerned.
|The Libertarian Party of Kentucky||The Constitution Party of Kentucky|
|PO Box 432||PO Box 23703|
|Independence, KY 41051||Lexington, KY 40523|