After a long legal battle, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson succeeded in his attempt to get on the ballot this November. The Pa Commonwealth Court ruled that he had the necessary signatures to be eligible, though the matter has for some time been in dispute.
He joins Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein on the ballot in Pa.
Johnson’s attempts to get on the Pa. ballot had been fought by the Pennsylvania Republican party, citing errors in the nominating petitions. While over half of the signatures on those petitions (of which most came from Philadelphia residents), Johnson still had over 20,601, enough valid signatures remaining to qualify.
Likewise Rayburn Smith, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate whose petitions had also been challenged. He will appear alongside Bob Casey and Tom Smith.
The dispute heated up when Johnson’s general council alleged that a member of the GOP posed as a member of law enforcement and later attempted to bribe witnesses.
With the Pennsylvania decision, Johnson has secured his place on forty-eight states’ ballots, with only Oklahoma and Michigan remaining.
While their influence may not be massive, the Libertarian party has proven it can make a difference in the presidential race. Bob Barr, the libertarian candidate in 2008, carried a negligible amount of the popular vote, but enough that he theoretically could have affected the outcome in a few states.
An appeal could still make it to the Pa. Supreme Court, but it appears unlikely that it will come before the election. As it stands, the Pa. electorate will be able to cast their votes for him this November if they so choose.