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Gary Johnson sues Michigan for spot on ballot - missed deadline by 3 minutes

Libertarian Gary Johnson sues Michigan for spot on ballot - missed deadline by 3 minutes
Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 7:00 AM

ANN ARBOR, MI - Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson sued Michigan's secretary of state on Monday, demanding a spot on the November ballot after apparently missing a deadline to withdraw as a Republican by just three minutes.

Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, sought the GOP nomination for president last year before later announcing his Libertarian bid in December. State election officials notified him that his name would appear on the February presidential primary ballot unless he withdrew.

He missed a 4 p.m. Dec. 9 deadline by three minutes, according to a lawsuit filed against Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, a Republican, in the Detroit federal courthouse. Under state law, losing the GOP primary disqualified him from running with a party affiliation in the general election.
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Gary Johnson and Michigan Ballot

From Ballot Access News http://www.ballot-access.org/page/2/

"The Secretary of State said on May 3 that she would not print Johnson’s name on the November ballot because his name had appeared on the Republican presidential primary ballot in February this year. Johnson had tried to withdraw but the Secretary of State says his withdrawal was received three minutes too late. There are very few precedents for a case like this, because no state has ever before told a ballot-qualified party that it will not list its actual presidential nominee on the grounds that the actual presidential nominee had run in the presidential primary of some other party. The only exception is that North Carolina tried to prevent John B. Anderson from appearing on the November 1980 ballot as the nominee of the Independent Party, on the grounds that his name had been on the 1980 Republican presidential primary in that state. But a U.S. District Court construed the North Carolina law to not be a barrier to Anderson. The state had then dropped any appeal, but the Democratic National Committee had intervened in the case and appealed to the 4th circuit. However, the 4th circuit also construed the North Carolina law to not apply to Anderson.

Presidential candidates who have run in a major party presidential primary, and then later appeared on the general election ballot as the nominee of a new or minor party that same year, besides Anderson, include Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, Robert La Follette in 1924, and David Duke in 1988. Anderson appeared on the November ballot of all 50 states in 1980, even though he had run in 22 Republican presidential primaries that year. One of the 22 Republican presidential primaries Anderson had run in was Michigan’s primary, but Michigan did not try to bar him from the November ballot."

Obvious motives...

from the Republican Secretary.

They're afraid of Gary Johnson taking votes away from Romney, so keeping him off the ballot is their only move that they can see.

Wonder how long they sat on the paperwork?