The Libertarian Party of Arkansas announced on Monday it has been certified as a political party by the office of Secretary of State Mark Martin. The designation allows all Libertarian candidates for public office to gain automatic ballot access. The certificate from the Secretary of State was signed on June 8 and is the last step in the petition process.
The LPAR turned in 15,619 signatures in early June to seek official recognition. On June 23 the Secretary of State’s office announced 76 percent, or 11,918 signatures, were found to be valid. 10,000 are needed for ballot access.
The announcement on Monday confirms party officials have submitted a required affidavit and followed all post-signature verification processes.
The 2016 election will be the third consecutive cycle the Libertarians have been officially recognized by Arkansas as a “new” political party. A political organization must follow the petition process for recognition in Arkansas if a gubernatorial or presidential candidate failed to garner three percent of the vote in the previous election.
In 2014 gubernatorial candidate Frank Gilbert garnered just less than two percent of the vote. In 2012 the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, brought in 1.52 percent of the Arkansas vote.
The LPAR is holding a nominating convention on October 24-25 for state level candidates. The national Libertarian Party is holding its convention for presidential candidates in May of 2016.