DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced that the Libertarian Party of Iowa has obtained official political party status in Iowa, effective March 1. Libertarian presidential nominee, Gary Johnson received 59,186 votes, which was 3.8 percent of the vote in the November 2016 general election, surpassing the two percent threshold required by Iowa Code to obtain official political party status.
“I would like to congratulate the Libertarian Party of Iowa on being recognized as an official political party by the state,” Secretary Pate said. “I encourage all Iowans to become and remain active in the political process.”
Political party status gives the Libertarian Party the ability to participate in primary elections in 2018. The Libertarian Party will be included as an option for Iowans on voter registration forms as well.
The party's candidates for president and governor must keep receiving at least two percent of the total votes cast in each general election to remain an officially recognized political party. If a party's nominee does not receive two percent of the total votes cast, the party's status is cancelled.
The last instance when a non-party political organization was successful at gaining political party status in Iowa was in the year 2000. Iowa Green Party nominee Ralph Nader received 29,374 votes, or 2.2 percent of the total votes cast for president.
The current number of voters registered as Libertarian in Iowa is 9,100.