While I can't report a victory today, I am pleased to report that we have met our baseline objective of continued automatic ballot access for the Libertarian Party of Indiana through 2010. If a Hoosier wants to run as a Libertarian candidate, they need only fill out the forms and hit the trail, no petitions necessary.
Here are some other observations:
It was odd to watch the returns come in, where my numbers were at 5% and about 56,000 votes with around 60% of precincts reporting, and then my returns shifted down to 3% on 46,000 with 80% of precincts reporting, and it appears I'm ending up with around 52,000 votes. Can someone explain this? I still topped the 2% minimum for ballot access, but the next metric was to gain over the 4.1% we earned in 2002. The idea that we might be backsliding would be very disappointing to me personally. I would take responsibility for that.
The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported that I took 5%, so I'm not alone in this observation:
In the race for secretary of state, Rokita had garnered 416,229 votes, or 52 percent of the vote.
Democrat Joe Pearson had 346,996 votes, or 43 percent. Libertarian Mike Kole had 39,620 votes or 5 percent of the vote.
WISH-TV 8 in Indy showed Kole at 5% half-way through. I wish we took more screen shots.
I'd like to hear an explanation on this. How do you account for getting 41,000 votes with the first half of precincts, and then 12,000 with the other half? It's possible but extremely unlikely.
There are so many people to thank, but I'll keep it brief for now: My family, but especially Ame for enduring the two-year disruption. I'm looking forward to enjoying a more normal family life with her, Alex, and Isabel.
Thanks also to Jim Hurst. Beyond the material support, I really appreciate his willingness to step forward publicly to get behind me. That takes great courage in this time of extremely meddlesome government.
Some libertarians were disappointed that my campaign did not feature more red meat for them. As it turned out, I was quite vindicated by the course of yesterday's elections. I called for election machines we could trust, and then we had machines not work in Delaware County and Hoosiers across the state reporting irregularities, such as machines refusing to count Democratic straight-ticket votes. I called for voter verified paper audit trails, and Hoosiers leaving the polls were doing the same.
I called for competence, and then we had major incompetence from the Elections Division and the Marion County Clerk. The Election Division refused to certify 11 Libertarian candidates because of a new filing requirement created by the Legislature and targeting LPIN candidates. And yet, five of those eleven still appeared on Marion County ballots. Maybe the Clerk can be forgiven if the filings looked correct, because they were.
More observations will come once the votes are all counted, which means we might have a week's worth of notes trickling in.