Libertarian Party aims to get party on Oklahoma's ballot

Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr said the Libertarian Party just might be the party voters thought they were getting when they originally voted Republican " a government that will leave you alone.

But then, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate added, there is the catch if you want to be Libertarian in Oklahoma: State law won't let you vote as one.

According to The Associated Press, Oklahoma and West Virginia are the only states that will not allow the Libertarian Party on the ballot so far this election. Oklahoma has not had a Libertarian ballot since the 2000 election, when the party failed to garner 10 percent of the vote, according to Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Michael Clingman. Because of state law, the party must re-qualify if voters here want a chance to vote for Barr, a grueling process that requires it collect 43,913 valid signatures " a feat that is not too easy, Clingman said.

"It's been the law since the 1970s. It is a high restriction. You have to show a lot of support and continue to have a lot of support to become a political party," Clingman said. "They lost their status. In 1992 they got 20 percent of the vote. Since then they have not reached the number to stay a party."

Oklahoma's Libertarian Party chair Angelia O'Dell said the system is stacked against the Libertarians (or anyone) because the two parties that run it, Democratic and Republican, are the ones that make the rules.

"Basically, Oklahoma is just a two-party system. We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get on the ballot in Oklahoma," O'Dell said. "Ben Fenwick

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