PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Libertarian Party of Maine says it officially has enough signatures to become an official political party and have its presidential and vice presidential candidates appear on the November ballot.
Party chairman Chris Lyons, of Brunswick, said that on Tuesday afternoon, a deputy secretary of state informed him that the party has "comfortably exceeded" the 487 signatures it needed to gather since late May to reach a 5,000-signature threshold.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Kristen Muszynski said results will be official in a few days, after all signatures are received.
The national Libertarian Party's candidates are New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for president and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld for vice president.
Lyons said the candidates are fiscally conservative, socially accepting alternatives to the two major party's presumptive nominees, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
The two are "the most disliked presidential candidates in the history of the country," Lyons said.
"Basically, we will do what we say," Lyons said. "I think that really resonates with Mainers, and people in general."
The Maine party has had cycles of activity and lulls since its founding in 1975.
The Libertarian Party of Maine was last an official political party in the early 1990s, though its presidential and vice presidential candidates also appeared on Maine's 2012 ballot as independents following a successful petition drive, former chairman Jorge Maderal said.
The party went to court in January to defend its most recent signature-gathering effort after the state rejected almost 2,000 of its signatures.
In late May, a federal judge gave the Libertarian Party of Maine until July 12 to get enough signatures to become a ballot-qualified party.
Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. denied the group's request to place lower-office candidates on the ballot. He also said the Libertarian Party's likely to win an argument that Maine's Dec. 1 deadline to certify parties is "unconstitutionally early."