Ballot access changes for 3rd parties in Ohio upheld


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A state court has declared as constitutional a 2013 Ohio law that imposed stiffer criteria for minor political parties to reach and maintain ballot status.

The Libertarian Party of Ohio plans to appeal Tuesday’s decision by Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David C. Young. A similar challenge it filed in federal court was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction in October. An appeal failed.

Libertarians have fought the ballot changes for years. They maintain the law effectively eliminated all minor-party candidates from 2014 primary ballots and unfairly disadvantaged third parties going forward. Young said the law still allows third parties access.

Separately Tuesday, briefings were expedited in Libertarians’ federal appeal of a case alleging two 2014 candidates were disqualified as part of an illegal scheme to help Republican John Kasich (KAY’-sik).