As I first reported some weeks back, the Washington State Republican Party’s failure to nominate a candidate for US Senate in 2010 appears to have cost them “major party” status under the letter of RCW 29A.04.086. This failure should in turn have required Mitt Romney to qualify for Washington’s presidential ballot under rules and deadlines applied to “minor parties,” a deadline that has long since passed.
Today the Libertarian Party of Washington State filed suit (PDF) to have Romney’s name removed from the November ballot:
The suit seeks an order declaring that the Washington State Republican Party is “minor party” for purposes of the 2012 general election and directing the Secretary of State to issue ballots for the November election that do not contain the printed name of any Republican Party nominee.
Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office responds that the Republicans retain major party status under WAC 434-208-130:
(1) For purposes of RCW 29A.04.086, “major political party” means a political party whose nominees for president and vice-president received at least five percent of the total votes cast for that office at the last preceding presidential election. A political party that qualifies as a major political party retains such status until the next presidential election at which the presidential and vice-presidential nominees of that party do not receive at least five percent of the votes cast.