Libertarian Party gains full ballot access in Alabama
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Voters across the state will see three names for certain races on November’s ballot. For the first time in over 20 years, the Libertarian Party earned enough signatures to have complete ballot access. The party has candidates running for different offices from county sheriffs, and positions in the state house, to the governor’s office.
Gavin Goodman is the chair of Alabama’s Libertarian Party and congressional candidate for the state’s 7th district.
“Many people like to think of the Libertarian Party as a like a best of both worlds. That’s not really our perspective, we think that we approach things very differently than the other two major parties,” said Goodman.
Jonathan Realz is the libertarian candidate running to be the representative for the state’s 2nd Congressional District he says their party is socially liberal but fiscally conservative.
“What it really boils down to is we don’t want the government to make choices for you,” Realz.
Goodman and Realz are two of the 65 candidates that the secretary of state says have earned full ballot access for November’s general election, which was not an easy task.
“More than 80,000 verified signatures had to be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State in order for the Libertarian Party to gain ballot access,” said Merrill.
“We’re one of the largest groups of candidates in the country for libertarians,” said Goodman.
And the highest number of candidates the party’s ever fielded in the state.
Realz is proud to be among them. He decided to run after seeing the murder of George Floyd because he only saw a libertarian congressman take action.
“Voting is important, but it’s your right to vote,” he said. “It’s your duty to take your representative’s job if they no longer represent you.”
He and other party members want to cut the gas and grocery tax, but also want to make sure their economic policies have positive long-term impacts.
“People want to vote for the politician that they can have a beer with. Well, I’ll have a shot,” Realz said.
After not being entirely on the ballot for 20 years, Realz sees no major challenges. Instead, he says the party can finally educate voters on who they are.
“Because I am not a Republican or Democrat, I’m able to have conversations with people that would immediately jump to conclusions about me just based on political party,” said Realz.
Secretary of State John Merrill says voters don’t have to vote for the same party in every race, so this will give voters more options this fall.
“Not just Democrats or Republicans, but also libertarians. And in some instances where other third-party candidates have gained ballot access, there’ll be an additional name on that ballot,” said Merrill. “There’s always the opportunity for voters to write in the name of the candidate of their choice in the preference for that particular race. But that’s on a blank spot where they have to complete that and then fill in the oval to register the vote.”
Merrill says there are 65 qualified libertarian candidates. You can find a complete list on the Secretary of State’s website.
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