Ohio voters wishing for an alternative to the same-old-same-old legacy parties will be able to vote this year in a Libertarian Party primary in most counties in the state. Early voting begins at country boards of election on February 19. The deadline to register is the day before voting opens, February 18. The primary itself is on March 17.
Voters in 13 of the state’s 16 Congressional Districts may request a Libertarian Party ballot when they vote, and may select members to the party’s State Central Committee. The only counties without candidates for central committee are the Sixth, Eighth, and 10th, but voters in the Sixth in Monroe, Jefferson, and parts of Belmont counties may request a Libertarian ballot to vote for a candidate for the state legislature. Many other Libertarians are running for Congress, the legislature, or county offices. A full list of 2020 LPO candidates can be found at www.votefreeohio.com.
LPO Political Director Patrick Glasgow says that primary voting in Ohio is very important. “Since Ohio does not have party registration as part of voter registration, the way many other states do, the only way to become a recognized member of the Libertarian Party is to vote in a Libertarian primary. We’ve spent lots of money, time, effort, and tears to get the LP on the ballot in Ohio. It would be a shame to waste that.”
In those parts of the state in which there are no Libertarian candidates running, Glasgow urges voters to either ask for an issues-only ballot or to just not vote. “I understand the temptation to pull a Republican or Democratic ballot, especially in a year when the Presidential race is so contentious,” he said. “But please, don’t do it. If you vote in a Republican primary, you are a Republican by Ohio law, and certain positions and offices in the LPO will be closed to you. The same is true if you vote Democrat. We are expecting to have an exciting ticket for President and Vice President in the general election in November, and we’re going to need all the involved Libertarians we can get.”