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Libertarians Lose Round In Election Challenge

DENVER (CN) - The 10th Circuit upheld New Mexico's ballot access procedure, dismissing a constitutional challenge brought by the state Libertarian Party and four of its candidates.

New Mexico requires minor political groups that have not obtained minor-party status to go through two rounds of petitioning: one to become a minor party and one for each of its nominated candidates.

The Libertarians obtained more than 38,000 signatures to become a minor party, but failed to get enough signatures to put its candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 7, 2006 election. They claimed this two-step process violated their First and 14th Amendment rights.

The circuit found that the Libertarian Party lacked the raw numbers to prove that the burden of the process for minor party candidates is severe. See ruling in Libertarian Party N.M. v. Herrera

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