BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Libertarians have failed to convince a judge to grant an injunction requiring the state to re-enroll more than 6,000 previous members of the party in the state.
Libertarians sued Secretary of State Matt Dunlap last year, arguing the enrollment thresholds were impossible to maintain for small parties.
The Libertarians contended the requirements “severely burden the constitutional rights” of voters and stymie the creation of new parties. The Libertarian Party lost its status at the end of 2018.
Judge Lance Walker on Thursday agreed that the unenrollment process “penalizes minor parties” but denied the party’s request to immediately re-enroll the more than 6,000 previous Libertarians.
State law requires new parties to enroll 5,000 members in the year before a general election and to double that number by the next general election. It also requires annual state political conventions.
The Libertarian Party gained official status in June 2016 with 5,150 voters but lost its status by December 2018.
Maine has three officially recognized political parties: Democrats, Republicans and Greens.
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