Document:California Press Release 23 November 1999 Libertarian Voter Registration Up

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400 Capitol Mall, Suite 900
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 449-3941
For immediate release: November 23, 1999
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200

Libertarian voter registrations up while statewide numbers are down

SACRAMENTO -- Voter registration numbers for the Libertarian Party increased over the past year -- the same period in which statewide voter registrations declined over 300,000 voters, the Libertarian Party of California announced today.

"These numbers provide further proof of three things: that the two-party system is becoming a thing of the past, that the Democrats and Republicans are repelling voters in greater numbers, and that those voters are increasingly turning to the Libertarian Party," stated Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle.

According to the latest Report of Registration from the Secretary of State, Libertarian registrations increased by 3,167 voters, or 3.87%, between October 5, 1998 and October 5, 1999. In that same period, statewide voter rolls fell by 2.11%, or 315,964 voters. Additionally, Democrats lost 200,964 voters while Republicans bled 188,144 voters. Total Libertarian registrations total 84,947.

"It's a clear sign of our party's strength that our numbers should increase in a period of overall decline," Hinkle said.

But are Libertarians the kings of the third party hill?

Not quite: they share that title with the Green Party, which increased 4.86% during the past year, largely due to the election of Audie Bock to the State Assembly, according to Hinkle. "Libertarians and Greens are appealing because of our ideological purity: we are parties based on certain principles -- albeit divergent ones. That sort of principled leadership is what voters want and what we provide," Hinkle said.

Libertarians are within striking distance of surpassing the Reform Party, which experienced a 3.57% decline despite tremendous media coverage of Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura's election and the race for the Reform presidential nomination. Reform registrations total 85,554, just 607 more than Libertarians.

"The Reform Party is non-ideological -- that's how they can have a right-wing extremist like Pat Buchanan in the same party as libertarian-leaning Ventura," Hinkle noted. "With no strong principles binding their positions or candidates, Reformers won't last beyond next year."

While Libertarian numbers swelled, the American Independent Party increased a mere 0.20% while Natural Law Party registrations dropped a whopping 13.2%.

"In the marketplace of ideas, the parties with the strongest ones will last," Hinkle predicted. "Which is why the Democrats and Republicans are on the way out and the Libertarians are here to stay."