Libertarian Party candidate for President Michael Badnarik will be on the Texas ballot in November.
Election officials announced Tuesday that the Libertarian Party has met the requirements to get its candidates on the November second ballot in Texas.
As a third party, the Libertarians were required to submit a petition with 45,540 signatures of registered Texans who did not vote in the GOP or Democratic primaries.
Secretary of State Geoff Connor said Libertarians produced more than 82,000 valid signatures.
Austin computer programmer Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian nominee for president.
Today (Thursday) at 9am, the Ralph Nader campaign is scheduled to appear in federal court (200 W. Eighth) in a lawsuit (Nader et al. v. Connor) charging that the Texas ballot access law is unconstitutional on three grounds:
The May 10 deadline for signatures, earlier than any other state, is unnecessary and discriminatory;
The requirement that independent candidates collect more than 64,000 signatures – nearly 20,000 more than the requirement for third party candidates – is also discriminatory; and
The accelerated schedule for independent candidates (60 days to collect signatures vs. 75 days for third parties) has the same effect.
The Texas ballot requirements for independent candidates have been in place for 20 years. Secretary of State Geoff Connor has noted that Reform Party candidates Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996 and Pat Buchanan in 2000 managed to get on the Texas ballot as independents.
UPDATE: Forgot to link to this profile of Michael Badnarik and how he got the LP nod. He certainly is, um, unconventional.
Badnarik believes that the federal income tax has no legal authority and that people are justified in refusing to file a tax return until such time as the IRS provides them with an explanation of its authority to collect the tax. He hadn't filed income tax returns for several years. He moved from California to Texas because of Texas' more liberal gun laws, but he refused to obtain a Texas driver's license because the state requires drivers to provide their fingerprints and Social Security numbers. He has been ticketed several times for driving without a license; sometimes he has gotten off for various technical legal reasons, but on three occasions he has been convicted and paid a fine. He also refused to use postal ZIP codes, seeing them as "federal territories."