Libertarians: Strive To Beat "Ballot-Blocking" To Get On Ballot

Jun 23, 2014

The Libertarian's slate of statewide candidates for the 2014 election; Chad Grimm, the candidate for governor, is to the immediate left of the podium, while Political Director Lex Green is speaking.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

The Libertarian Party of Illinois is running a candidate for Governor, and all of the other statewide races. But the race could be over before it begins.

Chad Grimm, a 33-year-old health club manager from Peoria, and the Libertarian party's nominee for Illinois governor, has some unconventional political views; he believes Illinois should completely do away with a state income tax, and that there should be no -- as in zero - regulations on guns: Not the type, not where they're allowed, not who can have one.

"People have a right to defend themself, and the Second Amendment pretty much reads - not pretty much, it reads 'the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.' Well if I have to jump through hoops in order to obtain a firearms, then that's an infringement," he said at a statehouse press conference Monday, June 23.

Grimm tops a seven person slate of Libertarians, who say they've collectively turned in more than 43,000 signatures from Illinois voters -- nearly double what they need to get on the November ballot.

The Libertarian Party says it submitted more than 43,000 signatures in a bid to get on the 2014 ballot -- enough that it hopes to meet the third party threshold of 25,000 valid signatures from Illinois voters. In comparison, Republican and Democratic candidates need only submit 5,000 valid signatures to qualify.
Credit Amanda Vinicky / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

  But they say in previous years, Republicans and Democrats have used strict rules to disqualify signatures, and knock their party off the ballot.

Third parties in Illinois have to collect significantly more signatures. The Libertarians say it's "ballot-blocking." A lawsuit challenging those requirements is ongoing.