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Government and Politics

Federal judge rules against Ohio's new minor party law
A federal judge has sided with Libertarians challenging Ohio's new law regulating third-party ballot access

Andy Chow
Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl is celebrating a federal judge's ruling that Ohio's new third-party law restricts ballot access.
Courtesy of Karen Kasler
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In The Region:

The dynamic of the 2014 gubernatorial race is changing. A judge has ruled against a law that makes it harder for minor party candidates to get on the ballot. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

LISTEN: Andy Chow on minor party injunction

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Minor party members are celebrating a major victory in Ohio. The latest decision by U.S. District Judge Michael Watson in Columbus makes it easier for third-party candidates to appear on November’s ballot.

The judge temporarily stopped the law from taking effect.

The law, supported by Republicans and signed by Gov. John Kasich, created more rules for minor parties to get on the ballot. The judge ruled that the laws should not be enforced retroactively and should not affect access to the 2014 primary or general election.

This was good news for Charlie Earl, who’s running for governor with the Libertarian Party. While he noted that the Democrats supported the challenge of these laws, Earl says both major parties are obsessed with power. Earl adds that the Republicans were out of line when they created the law.

“Their lust for power and their arrogance epitomized by this bill," he said. "They overreached. I mean any reasonable person would read this bill and how it was structured and would say, ‘My goodness, you know some of that makes sense, but this is just going too far.’”

Earl says the laws stunted his fundraising effort, but with the judge’s injunction, things should be picking up. 

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