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North Dakota Libertarian Party's ballot status restored

North Dakota Libertarian Party's ballot status restored

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The Libertarian Party of North Dakota has regained its ballot status.

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Wednesday said the party had filed petitions on Oct. 16 that resulted in enough qualified signatures to recognize the party as a political organization. The party will have a column on the June 9 statewide primary ballot for nominating candidates.

The party needed 7,000 qualified signatures of North Dakota electors submitted by April 6 to regain its ballot status. Jaeger said the party submitted 8,113 signatures, of which 7,735 were qualified. 

The Libertarian Party lost its ballot status in 2018 when sole statewide candidate Roland Riemers failed to garner enough votes to qualify for the general election.

He ran for secretary of state but received only 248 votes in the statewide primary. He had needed 300 votes to advance to November’s general election that year and to maintain his party’s ballot access.

After a recount ordered by the North Dakota Supreme Court failed to advance him, Riemers mounted a write-in campaign for agriculture commissioner and "any other office on the ballot where you can not find a worthwhile candidate to vote for."

Libertarian Party Chairman Dalton Brown, of Watford City, welcomed Jaeger's news as "fantastic."

"Looking forward to getting more candidates out on the ballot and better selection and giving people more choice here in North Dakota," he told the Tribune.

The party has a goal of putting forth a full slate of statewide and legislative candidates for 2020, he said.

Libertarians hold no statewide or legislative seats in North Dakota. The party offered eight statewide candidates in 2016, as well as a presidential ticket.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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