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Published December 12, 2011, 01:00 PM

ND Libertarian request for ballot column refused

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger says the state's Libertarian Party must circulate a new petition to get its own column on the ballot for next year's elections.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger says the state's Libertarian Party must circulate a new petition to get its own column on the ballot for next year's elections.

A federal appeals court recently turned down a Libertarian challenge to North Dakota's ballot access laws. The court's ruling said North Dakota's law allows Libertarians to get their own ballot column if they get 7,000 signatures on one petition.

North Dakota law actually says Libertarians need the petition signatures before each election — unless a Libertarian candidate gets at least 5 percent of the statewide vote.

Libertarians want Jaeger to use the federal appeals court's ruling to justify giving the party its own ballot column in 2012.

But Jaeger said Monday he doesn't have the authority to take that step.

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