LPCO Calls for NO vote on SB16-216 about Presidential Primaries
May 8, 2016
Dear Senators and Representatives:
As the State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado and an active member of the party involved in the national campaign activities, I urge you to vote “No” on SB16-216 regarding presidential primaries. There are many reasons to oppose this government over-reach to control the nominations of private political parties, including the use of taxpayer funds to pay for this unnecessary exercise. However, if the state legislature is determined to fund this venture, major and minor parties should have equal access options to the presidential primary process, which SB16-216 specifically prohibits.
Under Colorado statute, when the Libertarian and Green parties have multiple candidates for state offices, nomination for the general election ballot is required to be conducted by primary election in late June. The Libertarians have successfully participated in this state primary process for years. While we do not believe in mandating primary elections for any political party, we are dismayed that the legislature is poised to pass legislation that would restrict the participation option to the two major parties for the presidential nomination.
The Libertarian Party has conducted four presidential primaries this year, and the Green Party has seven presidential primaries scheduled. If party leaders decide that a Colorado presidential primary is beneficial alongside major party primaries, the minor parties should have the same option and access. Voters’ interest in minor parties is surging in 2016, and the Libertarian Party is attracting record interest. SB16-216 takes a step to reduce options and public exposure for our party and its candidates, which in turn reduces voters’ choices at the polls. Any legislative action to reduce the minor parties’ options in relation to major party options is ill-timed at best.
We are also troubled to see Ballot Initiative #98, and its scheme employed to relegate minor party state primaries to inaccessible methods. Please vote “No” on SB16-216.