Although Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Shawn Quinn received just 1.4 percent of the vote Tuesday, it was enough to retain ballot access for the Maryland Libertarian Party in 2016.
The party became the first non-establishment party in the state since 1970 to retain a spot on the ballot for the next election.
According to Maryland election law, if a political party doesn't have at least 1 percent of the registered voters in the state at the end of the year, its top-of-the-ticket statewide candidate must receive at least 1 percent of the votes. Or it must collect 10,000 signatures from registered Maryland voters to become a recognized party again.
The last time a non-establishment gubernatorial candidate received at least 1 percent was in 1970, when American Party candidate Robert Merkle Woods, Sr., got 1.97 percent of the vote.
No minor party candidate secured a spot on the ballot for governor between 1970 and 2002, when Libertarian Spear Lancaster got on the ballot.
Brian Johnston, chair of the Maryland Libertarian Party, attributes Quinn's showing at the polls Tuesday to more Marylanders seeing flaws in the war on drugs, specifically marijuana. Quinn pledged, if elected, to sign into law a bill that would end the prohibition of marijuana in the state.