By Ethan Klapper
WASHINGTON — The Libertarian Party of Washington state sued the state secretary of state on Thursday, claiming that Mitt Romney’s name should be removed from the general election ballot.
The lawsuit in state Superior Court cites Washington’s 2010 Senate race, when Democrat Patty Murray narrowly won reelection against her Republican competitor, Dino Rossi. Washington state law requires a major party’s nominee to garner at least 5 percent of the vote in a statewide race during even years. However, Rossi was never technically nominated by the state Republican party, and the primary election he won is not technically considered a nominating process, according to the Associated Press.
As reported by the Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger, the state Libertarian Party accuses Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, of giving the state GOP a free pass by trying “modify or alter” state law, known as the Revised Code of Washington, with state regulations, called the Washington Administrative Code. The administrative code applies the 5 percent requirement, but only to presidential races and not mid-term elections. In 2008, John McCain was formally nominated and received about 40 percent of the state’s popular vote. Reed’s office requested a bill to amend the Revised Code of Washington to meet the State Administrative Code, but it failed during the state legislature’s last session.
Therefore, the lawsuit says, the state Republican Party is a minor party, and, because the deadline for a minor political party to qualify a candidate has passed, Romney’s name should be removed from the ballot.
Even if the state Superior Court rules in favor of Reed, it is unlikely Romney would win Washington’s 12 electoral votes in November. A HuffPost analysis of polls shows President Barack Obama is likely to win more than 50 percent of the state’s vote. In fact, a Republican hasn’t won the Evergreen State since 1984, when Ronald Reagan won reelection in a nationwide landslide.