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Bill Would Impose Signature Requirement On Statewide Libertarian Candidates In Indiana

Alan Mbathi
IPB News

Republicans in a House committee Monday voted to make it harder for Libertarian Party candidates for Indiana governor and U.S. senator to get on the ballot.

The legislation would impose signature requirements on Libertarians that major party candidates must already meet.

Democrats and Republicans who want to run for U.S. Senate or governor must collect 4,500 signatures of registered voters (500 from each congressional district) in order to get on the primary ballot. Doing so isn’t easy – it requires time and, importantly, resources.

Libertarians don’t have primaries in Indiana; instead, their candidates for those offices are chosen at their state party convention.

Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver) said Libertarian candidates should also meet the signature requirement.

“Really just wanted to more closely align those party candidates for those statewide offices,” Manning said.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

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Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) questioned why.

“A cynical person might think that this bill arrived because the Libertarians did extraordinarily well for what we might call a third party,” Pierce said.

The 2020 Libertarian candidate for governor, Donald Rainwater, got a higher share of the vote than any other Libertarian candidate in state history.

No one from the Indiana Libertarian Party showed up to testify on the bill. The measure, which passed the House Elections Committee in a party line vote, now heads to the full House.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.