Representative Mary Ann Hanusa submitted House File 335 this past week to the Iowa House State Government Committee. This bill would move up candidate filing deadlines for non-party organizations (NPPO) like the Libertarian and Green Party candidates to the month of March, the same filing deadline for the major party primary candidates. As the Libertarian and Green national presidential nominating conventions will be held in the summer of 2020, well after the proposed deadline, we will be forced to petition in the dead of winter with substitute candidates, an additional hurdle for our ability to place candidates on the ballot. Additionally, independent candidates would still have until the end of August to file their candidacies. As NPPO’s have the same status as independents, they should be held to the same ballot qualifications. We believe this bill is unconstitutional and discriminates against NPPO’s by not only prohibiting us from running our presidential nominees on the Iowa ticket, but by placing an undue burden on our candidates to meet a deadline designed for primary races, rather than the general election. The US Supreme court has ruled early filing deadlines as unconstitutional due to the burden they place on candidates (Anderson v Celebrezze). It is unfortunate that Hanusa, a Republican, seeks to limit the choices of Iowa voters through government overreach by filing a blatantly unconstitutional bill. We do not see any true benefit to the citizens of Iowa if this is passed into law, we do understand this partisan bill is meant to protect the establishment parties at the expense of The Constitution and Iowa voters.
Joseph Howe – Libertarian Party of Iowa Chair
Henry Gaff – Iowa Green Party Chair