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N.H. Libertarians Sue Over Ballot Access Rules Amid Pandemic

NHPR Staff

The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire is suing the governor and the state's top election official for not adjusting ballot access requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under existing election laws, Libertarian candidates running for president, governor or U.S. senator in New Hampshire need to collect signatures from 3,000 registered voters to get on the ballot for the 2020 elections.

In a complaint filed in federal court Monday, the Libertarian Party argues this threshold is unreasonable, as signatures are typically collected door-to-door, and it is less safe to do that now, due to the ongoing pandemic.

Instead, the party is asking the state to lower the signature requirement or suspend it altogether for the upcoming elections. Similar lawsuits have been filed on behalf of Libertarians in other states, including Georgia, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office says it is reviewing the case and will respond in court. NHPR has reached out to Gov. Chris Sununu's office and the New Hampshire Secretary of State for comment on the lawsuit.

Casey McDermott is an editor and reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio, where she works with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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