News Release: Libertarian Candidate Denied Ballot Slot, Vows Lawsuit

Libertarian Candidate Denied Ballot Slot, Vows Lawsuit
Tim O’Brien
CONTACT: Tim O’Brien

HAZEL PARK, MI – One of the two Libertarian Party of Michigan nominees for State Board of Education, Jon Coon, has been denied his spot on the November ballot by the Elections Division of the Office of the Michigan Secretary of State.

The reason given by election officials is Coon’s refusal to sign a new “Supplementary Affidavit of Identity” form, created late last year by PA 217, which states:

“I swear (or affirm) that on this date, all statements, reports, error or omission notice responses, late filing fees and fines required of me or any Candidate Committee organized to support my election to office an (sic) registered under Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act, PA 388 of 1976, have been filed or paid. I further acknowledged (sic) that making a false statement in this affidavit is perjury, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.00 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.”

Coon was nominated at the LPM convention in May and timely filed all of the other paperwork to certify his name for the ballot.

“I simply refused to sign that ‘blank check’ guarantee that everyone who has ever worked on any of my campaigns has crossed every ‘t’ and dotted every ‘i’ to the complete satisfaction of the elections bureaucrats. There isn’t even the usual line about ‘To the best of my knowledge and belief…’ to make allowance for good faith mistakes,” he noted. “And I’m supposed to sign this at the risk of committing a 5 year felony?” he asked incredulously. “I don’t think so.”

Coon claims that, the poorly written language aside, denying an otherwise legally qualified candidate access to the ballot as a means of enforcing campaign finance law violates the purity of elections provisions of the Michigan Constitution.

A complaint against the Bureau of Elections and a request for an order to put Jon Coon’s name on the fall ballot will be filed on behalf of both Coon and the Libertarian Party of Michigan tomorrow in Ingham County Circuit Court by LPM attorney, Ghazey H. Aleck, II.

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