By Leonard Schwartz, LPM Political Director
Libertarians’ greatest success is in nonpartisan elections. There are 92 LP members currently serving in nonpartisan elected positions; four in Michigan.
Nearly all Michigan cities have nonpartisan elections this November. Here is how to get on the ballot:
First ask friends to sign. Some might also help get signatures. Next petition door-to-door in your neighborhood. Petition only in daylight.
Saturday and Sunday afternoons are best. Because some persons aren’t registered to vote at the address they put on the petition, get at least 20% more signatures than you need.
Say something like: “I’m [name]. I want to be a candidate for [name of office]. Please sign this petition so that my name will appear on the ballot. I’m not asking you to vote for me. I’m merely asking your permission to appear on the ballot.” Most people will sign. Some persons want to discuss issues. Don’t waste your time. Say something like: “I’ll be happy to discuss issues after my name is on the ballot. But today I’m in a hurry.” If the person won’t sign, go to the next house.
An election is most winnable where there is a controversial issue. The issue need not have much practical importance. But it should stir voters’ emotions. When running against an incumbent, the issue can be that the incumbent is incompetent, venal, or corrupt.
Don’t be discouraged if you lose the first time. Martin Howrylak, David Eisenbacher, and Erin Stahl lost their first city council races. But they were elected on their second attempts.