South Dakota’s Libertarian Party asked a federal judge Wednesday to stop Secretary of State Jason Gant from printing November general election ballots without the name of its candidate for the state Public Utilities Commission. Gant last week ruled Ryan Gaddy ineligible to run for the office, saying Gaddy didn’t comply with a state law that requires candidates to be members of the party that nominates them. Gaddy changed his party affiliation from Republican at the Libertarian convention, but the official paperwork wasn’t filed until later. That meant Gaddy was still a Republican at the time of his Libertarian nomination, a violation of state law, according to Gant.
Gaddy and the Libertarian Party are suing in federal court, arguing the state law is unconstitutional and that not putting Gaddy on the ballot infringes on his and the party’s rights.
Gant said he has no intention of printing ballots until the court case is resolved. A court injunction on ballot-printing could prove problematic if the case drags out, however. Ballots are required to be in county auditors’ offices on Sept. 17, two days before absentee voting starts.