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Ohio's Top Elections Official Allows Libertarian Swap

Statehouse News Bureau
Copy of one of the petitions submitted to Ohio Secretary of State's office

Ohio’s top elections official says he’s going to allow the Libertarian Party to use an unusual strategy to place its presidential candidate on the state’s ballot.

Last week, the Libertarian Party of Ohio raised eyebrows when it filed petitions, seemingly to put its national Presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Vice Presidential Candidate Bill Weld, on the statewide ballot. But the name of former Ohio gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl was listed as the Presidential pick and his friend, Ken Moellman of Kentucky, was listed as the V.P. Earl later explained this was part of an unusual strategy to make sure the Libertarian candidates didn’t get kicked off the ballot should a court rule in the party’s favor on a pending federal lawsuit. Secretary of State Jon Husted says Ohio law is unclear on the ability to replace one independent presidential candidate with another. So, because of that, and saying the spirit of ballot access should prevail, he says he will allow Earl and Moellman to drop out, once their petitions have been fully certified, and replace themselves with Johnson and Weld.

Contact Jo Ingles at