Ben Weir is an Army Veteran and a pro-liberty candidate for Sheriff of Merrimack County in southern New Hampshire. He is running as a Libertarian, which makes it more difficult to get on the ballot. Because the Libertarian Party does not have major party status in New Hampshire, its candidates cannot appear on the general election ballot unless they go door-to-door and collect petition signatures from voters in their district who would like them to appear on the ballot. The election law officials usually throw out roughly half of the signatures, so Libertarian candidates usually collect twice the number of required signatures.
On June 9th, Weir brought all of his 250 petition signatures to his town hall, where he also registered to vote and filed to run for County Sheriff. The deadline for filing for office was June 10th. But the Secretary of State’s office, the Pittsfield town hall, and the Pittsfield Supervisors of the Checklist seemingly did not communicate with each other in a timely and appropriate manner. The Secretary of State sent him an email telling him that because the Supervisors of the Checklist did not meet between June 9th and 10th to confirm that he was registered to vote, he could not be a candidate for any office, because all candidates must also be registered voters. Weir filed an appeal, and his case was set at the Ballot Law Commission on August 24th in Concord. His hearing was placed on the agenda just prior to the BLC hearing to address the complaint asking to remove all pro-independence legislators from the ballot.
At the hearing, Mr. Weir presented his case to the Commission, which also included the Secretary of State, a representative from the Attorney General’s office, and some other non-voting members of the panel. The Secretary of State told the Commission that he should not be allowed onto the ballot because he was technically not a voter as confirmed by a meeting of the Supervisors of the Checklist before the filing deadline. The Chairman and other commissioners told the Secretary of State that Weir literally did everything right, and blocking him from being on the ballot would not be appropriate. After around twenty minutes of discussion, a commissioner made a motion to dismiss Weir’s appeal of the Secretary of State’s decision. After a long deliberation including some awkward jokes, the Chairman cast the tie-breaking vote, and a 3-2 majority ruled against the motion. Then, a commissioner made a motion to approve Weir’s appeal and override the Secretary of State’s decision to remove the Libertarian from the ballot. The motion carried with a 4-1 vote, officially placing Weir on the ballot.
On Tuesday, November 8th, citizens of Merrimack County will see Ben Weir as a Libertarian candidate for Sheriff on their ballot, and they will have a historic opportunity to elect a truly pro-liberty law enforcement official to govern their county. Weir will face Republican Keith Mitchell and Democrat David Croft.
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