WV gains fourth political party - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV gains fourth political party

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The Libertarian Party has received enough votes to gain ballot access for the 2014 and 2016 elections in West Virginia.

David Moran ran for governor as a Libertarian and received about 1.3 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. The secretary of state's office said it is unlikely Moran will fall under the 1 percent threshold required for ballot access after canvassing. More than 8,000 voters cast ballots for Moran, even though there are only about 1,448 registered Libertarians in the state.

West Virginia's LPWV Chairman, Michael Wilson, said in a statement that even though the party ran a campaign on a budget at less than 1 percent of the state's other parties, "we had a focused plan and never lost sight of our primary objective."

Ballot access means a Libertarian candidate will not have to collect signatures to be placed on the ballot for any election other than municipal elections. The Libertarian Party will be able to choose their candidates either in a primary or party convention.

Becoming an official party also means a person cannot run as a primary candidate if they were registered as a member of one of the other political parties within 60 days of filing to run, according to the secretary of state's office. People registered with no party affiliation, independent or any other registration other than the four official parties – Democrat, Republican, Mountain and now Libertarian – are not subject to the law.

The Libertarian Party has not held Official Party status in WV since 2000 when in a five-way race the LPWV candidate for Governor, Bob Myers, obtained less than 1 percent of the vote, according to information from LPWV.

In order to maintain ballot access, the Libertarian Party will need to get at least 1 percent of the total ballots cast in the 2016 governor's race.