DES MOINES, Iowa – On Tuesday, the Libertarian Party of Iowa (LPIA) and Libertarian National Committee requested that Gov. Kim Reynolds waive the petitioning requirements for the party’s presidential candidate in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The filing period for President and Vice President runs from July 27 until 5:00 pm on August 14, 2020. For ballot access for the general election, 1500 signatures from ten counties are required.
LPIA Chair Mike Connor Jr. said that because of the spread of COVID-19, the ability of many Iowans to vote for the candidate of their choice in November is uncertain. He signed a letter along with Daniel Fishman, executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, to Reynolds asking for relief.
“LPIA has had a consistent presence in Iowa for 45 years, running candidates, lobbying the General Assembly, and holding outreach events, thereby having established our regular participation in the democratic process. In that 45 year period, the Libertarian Party of Iowa has successfully petitioned for statewide ballot access in every presidential election but two (the ’76 and ’80 elections). But with the impact of this public health emergency, Libertarian Party presidential ballot access in 2020 is in jeopardy,” their letter reads in part.
The Libertarians then ask Reynolds to waive the petitioning requirements by executive order due to the emergency proclamation, uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and in the interest of public health.
Alternatively, if Reynolds is unwilling to waive the requirements, the Libertarians request to work with the governor and Secretary of State Paul Pate to determine a reasonable alternative for ballot qualification that does not require face-to-face petitioning.