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Ohio Libertarians ask to add Gary Johnson to fall presidential ballot

by Marc kovac | Capital Bureau Chief Published: August 15, 2016 4:50 PM

Columbus -- Ohio Libertarians submitted paperwork to the Secretary of State's office Aug. 15 to place former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson's on the November presidential ballot.

The withdrawal of candidacy form came a week after backers submitted petitions that included Charlie Earl's name and not Johnson -- a move Libertarians said was made to secure a spot on the ballot among independent candidates, with full intentions of ensuring voters could cast their ballots for Johnson.

With Earl's formal withdrawal Aug. 15, Ohio Libertarians asked instead for Johnson's name to be included. And Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted indicated that he would allow the change, pending validation of petition signatures.

"He plans to grant their request," said Josh Eck, Husted's spokesman.

Husted did note that state law was unclear on changing names of independent candidates but that he would allow the move because he "believes the spirit of ballot access should prevail."

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Husted has asked county elections officials to complete their review of the submitted petition signatures by the end of the week.

Ohio voters could end up with 10 separate tickets for president.

Republican Donald Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and the Green Party's Jill Stein will have their party affiliations listed with their names.

Pending signature reviews, Johnson and three other independent candidates (Darrell Castle, Richard Duncan and Michael Steinberg) also have filed to appear on the ballot.

Three others have submitted paperwork to run as write-in candidates -- Michael Bickelmeyer, Ben Hartnell and Douglas Thomson.

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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