Today the Washington Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, and Governor Jay Inslee signed off and certified the 2016 General Election. 3,209,214 valid votes were cast for president; with 160,879 being cast directly for Governor Gary Johnson, good for 5.01% of the vote. This total officially makes the Libertarian Party of Washington a “Major Party”, entitled to all the benefits this will provide.
Ignoring 24 years of precedent, the Office of the Washington Secretary of State has decided that “write-in” ballots, regardless of who they are cast for, shall count towards the total valid votes in this election. This pushes total “valid” votes cast to the 3,317,019 mark, and drives the Johnson/Weld ticket to 4.85%. Despite previously set precedent, and a nearly 100 page document detailing what constitutes a vote in Washington State( https://goo.gl/wRWKF9), the state will not evaluate write-in ballots for their validity. This means that every vote for Harambe and Mickey Mouse will count against the Libertarian Party of Washington equivalent to a vote for a registered write-in campaign, of which there were 55 this year……
This is either a major failure on the part of the Secretary of State to recognize the ramifications of a procedural change, or direct subversive action to undermine the Libertarian Party of Washington’s standing in Washington State politics. This is an action that marginalizes and disenfranchises the efforts of more than 160,000 voters in Washington State, and an action that shall be heavily scrutinized.
The perception of impropriety on the part of Kim Wyman and the Secretary of State Elections office certainly necessitates further action. The Libertarian Party of Washington is currently consulting with legal counsel, and the Libertarian National Committee, to identify the most effective strategy that aligns with our state party goals and the principled positions of the national committee.
The Libertarian Party of Washington has clearly earned standing equal to that of the “Old” parties under the law in regards to party recognition, and the benefits inherent. It is incumbent upon the Washington Secretary of State to honor our inclusion as a major party, or discontinue the benefits extended to the Democrat and Republican parties.