Contact: Katherine Revello, Communications Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LPRI Will Challenge Denial of Ballot Placement to Endorsed Candidates

The Libertarian Party of Rhode Island (LPRI) will challenge the state’s denial of ballot placement to Elijah Gizzarelli, the party’s endorsed gubernatorial candidate, and Corey Vechhiarino, the party’s endorsed Rhode Island House of Representatives candidate for District 5.

Despite turning in an excess of the 1,000 required signatures, the Department of State certified only 939 signatures for Gizzarelli. Boards of canvassers across the state certified 946 signatures turned in on behalf of Gizzarelli.

Vecchiarino received 39 validated signatures of the required 50.

“Libertarians oppose any form of regulatory capture. Whenever incumbent business owners or (in this case) politicians gain power, they immediately seek to secure their market share by excluding upstart competition through arbitrary and burdensome regulations. Regulations are not laws. Regulations are rules made by unelected bureaucrats and can be made as streamlined or as burdensome as those bureaucrats decide, so long as they comply with the framework of relevant statutes.” said LPRI Chair William Hunt.

“The systemic failures made by the Rhode Island Secretary of State show this process to be nothing more than an overly complicated exercise designed to make the prospect of gaining third-party ballot access (a prerequisite for establishing a recognized political party in the state of Rhode Island) arbitrary and capricious.” Hunt continued. “With recent changes to Rhode Island’s voting requirements—including removing many of the same requirements still required to obtain signatures for nomination papers—one must question the net benefit of loosening the requirements to vote in a Rhode Island election, while simultaneously keeping in place measures making it difficult for candidates to get on the ballot. Making it easy to vote for an arbitrarily restricted slate of candidates is merely an illusion of political choice, not an actual one.”

LPRI is confident that it collected and turned in enough signatures to qualify Gizzarelli and Vecchiarino for ballot placement. The party is challenging the ruling for multiple reasons, including the overall unfairness of the state’s ballot access laws and its certainty that it collected enough eligible signatures for its endorsed candidates.

More information on this challenge will be forthcoming