Petition Form Creation
If you are a registered voter in the state of Maryland, please fill out this form to get our candidates back onto the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot. This includes the national LP's Presidential nomination. We are not asking you to register Libertarian, or even to vote for our candidates. This just gives Maryland voters a choice other than Democrat or Republican when casting their votes. You must use the exact information that the Board of Election's records show on the form. In this day and age, many of us are reticent to provide personal information (with good reason) and you may be reluctant to enter it here. But the BoE already has this information -- it is entered here only for you to print. We send these forms to the state government for processing. So you are not putting yourself in jeopardy (honest!). Please fill in the information fields below -- if anything is in the slightest way incorrect, they will not count your effort!
First, open another window to the Board of Elections website. Enter the required fields and click Search. Keep doing this until it locates your registration record. Copy and paste to this page: the name as shown under Voter Name; the first line as shown under Residential Address; and the city, state, zip as shown under Residential Address. Next, click the Local Board of Elections Information arrow and copy and paste here the Local Board of Elections county name (or Baltimore City).
Calling all Maryland Registered Voters!
1Almost everybody should already have a pdf document viewer/printer driver installed. If for some reason you don't, you can install the free Adobe Reader plug-in. There are many others, here is a free one: Nitro PDF Reader. It is best to select None under Page Scaling, but most any of the options will probably work okay. The print settings under Comments and Forms should be Document and Mark Ups.
2If you're not sure how to print on both sides, put a small mark with a pencil or pen on a clean white sheet of paper and put it into your printer with the mark facing up before printing the petition form itself. Don't close the tab or window just yet (you might have to reprint). Put the same sheet of paper back into the printer, this time with your mark facing down (it might have printed on the marked side or the clean side). Print the address side. Hopefully it is on the opposite side of the sheet from the petition form. If both printed on the same side, try again.
The fine print (background information)
In Maryland, political parties other than Democrats and Republicans must submit a "New Party Petition" every four years to be (re-) recognized by the State Board of Elections (BoE). This permits us to place candidates on the General Election ballot. While this is an onerous task, the Libertarian Party of Maryland (us, the MdLP) has managed to accomplish it in recent memory. For reasons unrelated to political party petitions, the standards that the BoE uses to recognize or strike out individual names of voters who signed these petitions has evolved -- into a more stringent requirement. The BoE identified over 12,000 of the signatures the MdLP turned in in the spring of 2011 as belonging to valid Maryland voters, yet invalidated thousands of them for various technical reasons. The predominant reason was the voter not including a middle initial, using a nickname, or something related to the precise name the BoE has on file as compared to the name submitted on the petition form. As a result, we did not reach the required level of 10,000 signatures to retain state recognition.
We filed a lawsuit to contest the overly stringent signature requirements. On June 21, 2011 the judge agreed with us and filed a summary judgement in our favor in Libertarian Party of Maryland and Maryland Green Party v. Maryland State Board of Elections. The MdLP was immediately re-recognized as a political party by the BoE.
The BoE filed an appeal to the lower court ruling. On March 2, 2012, oral arguments were presented to the Maryland Court of Appeals. In the mean time, the MdLP was active and nominated candidates for all U.S. Congress positions. On May 21, 2012, the Court of Appeals rendered their unanimous decision: the BoE was correct in every detail and the Libertarian and Green Parties were wrong on every detail of the court case. The court ordered the BoE to immediately de-certify those parties. The only certified parties in the state of Maryland left were the Democrats and Republicans. The BoE required thousands of additional petition signatures to augment those which it did accept in order to reinstate the MdLP at that time. We successfully completed that task and were back on the 2012 ballot. In the 2014 election, our gubernatorial candidate received over 1% of the vote and we therefore did not need to collect petitions. However, we didn't get that same percentage in the 2018 election so we must yet again collect petition signatures.
In a seemingly ridiculous predicament, we have over 20,000 Maryland voters actually registered Libertarian but we still need to collect 10,000 petition signatures to remain a party! We have a federal court case pending on this point, but we cannot depend on winning it. Ergo this petition campaign.
To summarize: we need to collect thousands of signatures that the BoE cannot refute to be reinstated (again) and get our candidates back onto the ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election. We need your help. We cannot afford to have the BoE invalidate a large percentage of them yet again. This webpage lets you create a personalized petition form with your printed information that is extracted from the BoE database. All you need to do is print it out, sign it, and mail it in (sorry, the BoE does not allow for online-only petitions) -- it will have to be accepted, as a match to their records is guaranteed.
This webpage creates a petition sheet with just one name and signer -- yours. And it has been pre-validated. We strongly encourage all to use this method. Print out personalized sheets for each person signing. It is a bit wasteful of paper, but is worth the trouble. If you really, really want to do it manually (discouraged), here is a blank petition form and here is some good advice and instructions. If you go to a public place with clipboards and blank petition forms, you might want to put this explanation on the clipboard next to the petition. If possible, you can use a smartphone to go to the BoE website and enter the info for potential signers, or send them to that URL on their own phones to verify the name and address. If you can't get sigs that way, hand out these slips of paper urging people to "Please sign our petition!" by sending them to this webpage.