PRESS RELEASE: Libertarian Party of Iowa Requests Presidential Ballot Access for the 2020 General Election



April 21st, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: Libertarian Party of Iowa Requests Presidential Ballot Access for the 2020 General Election

Please see the statement and accompanying letter from Libertarian Party of Iowa Chair Mike Conner Jr to Governor Kim Reynolds regarding Presidential Ballot Access.

During it’s 45 year tenure, the Libertarian Party of Iowa has been a consistent voice of liberty and freedom, fighting on behalf of Iowans for self-ownership, self-governance, and individual rights. Because of the spread of COVID-19, many Iowan’s ability to vote for the candidate of their choice on the ballot this November appears to be in jeopardy.

Shortly after Governor Kim Reynolds signed a disaster proclamation on March 9th, the Libertarian Party of Iowa and Green Party of Iowa issued a request to move the filing deadlines for county, state, and federal candidates due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus. This request was eventually denied, and multiple potential candidates will ultimately be left off the ballots due to the inability to safely obtain the signatures needed.

As state restrictions have increased due to the outbreak, so have the ability to petition for Presidential ballot access. In order to prioritize the health and safety of Iowans, and in the interest of citizens statewide, the Libertarian National Committee and the Libertarian Party of Iowa have asked Governor Kim Reynolds to issue an Executive Order waiving petitioning requirements and determine that the Libertarian Presidential Nominee obtain ballot access in the General Election.

Mike Conner Jr – Libertarian Party of Iowa Chair

From the ballot access request:

Dear Governor Reynolds:

The Libertarian Party of Iowa (LPIA) has been organizing petitioners throughout the state to collect the signatures to ensure our party’s presidential nominee is able to qualify for the November 2020 general election ballot under Iowa law.

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and the state public health emergency declaration that Governor Reynolds issued on March 17, 2020, our effort to petition for signatures has come to a complete halt. As a party that has had nearly constant success in qualifying for the ballot, we request that the Governor, General Assembly, and the Secretary of State understand the effect this public health emergency has had on people’s willingness to be approached by a stranger, let alone take a pen or clipboard. Although we think our petitioners are healthy, and they would be benched at the first sign of illness, the virus is apparently often spread by people who are asymptomatic.

This situation makes it impossible for our candidates to attain ballot access in Iowa in 2020 under current law.

LPIA has had a consistent presence in Iowa for 45 years, running candidates, lobbying the General Assembly, and holding outreach events, thereby having established our regular participation in the democratic process.  In that 45 year period, the Libertarian Party of Iowa has successfully petitioned for statewide ballot access in every presidential election but two (the ‘76 and ‘80 elections). But with the impact of this public health emergency, Libertarian Party presidential ballot access in 2020 is in jeopardy.

In light of Governor Reynold’s emergency declaration, the uncertainty of the extent in which the COVID-19 virus will impact the state heading into the summer months, the rich history that the Libertarian Party has in the state of Iowa, and most importantly in the interest of public health, we ask that the governor sign an executive order waiving the petitioning requirements under current law and determine that the Libertarian presidential candidate qualifies for the 2020 general election ballot. In the alternative, we request that the Governor and Secretary of State work with us to establish a method for the Libertarian candidate to qualify for the 2020 general election ballot that does not require face-to-face petitioning and is reasonable under the circumstances.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you to resolve this matter in a manner that protects the interests of both LPIA and the State of Iowa.

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Mike Conner Jr.
LPIA State Chair

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