- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A federal judge has given the Libertarian Party of Maine until July 12 to get enough signatures for its presidential and vice presidential candidates to appear on the November ballot.

Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. said Friday the Libertarian Party is likely to win its argument that Maine’s Dec. 1 deadline to certify parties is “unconstitutionally early.”

But he denied the group’s request to place lower-office candidates on the ballot.

John Branson, who represented the libertarians, said Maine is one of 15 states in which the Libertarian Party is not an officially recognized party.

Branson said the party feels confident it can enroll 487 people by the deadline. He added voters have “tremendous” interest in third-party candidates this year.

The ruling comes ahead of the Libertarian National Convention this weekend.

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