Lieutenant Governor Candidate Pledges to End Civil Asset Forfeiture in Georgia

ATLANTA, GA: Libertarian Ryan Graham is highlighting a particular aspect of criminal justice reform that he plans to tackle if elected in November. The policy that leaves citizens vulnerable to having their assets taken by police without charges being filed is the focus of his message. 

“Civil asset forfeiture is a policy that allows corruption to thrive,” Graham explains. “It is truly troubling that authorities can simply claim your property was connected to a crime without any proof and that property can be taken from you. I will fight to end any attempts to infringe on our fundamental right to due process.”

A vote for Ryan Graham as your next Lieutenant Governor is a vote to limit the ways in which government can interject itself into our daily lives. It is time Georgia is represented by an individual who respects not just the Constitution, but all of the people the Constitution was written to protect.

Press Release: Statement on Music Midtown Cancellation

Atlanta, GA – Today it was announced that Music Midtown was canceled due to being forced by Georgia law to allow participants to carry firearms at the event. Ryan Graham, the Libertarian candidate for Lt Governor, thinks there is a more nuanced approach to this problem that Republicans and Democrats ignore.

“Organizations have every right to set rules in order to participate in their private events. That doesn’t change just because the land is public,” Graham said. “We can support an individual’s right to keep and bear arms and balance that with others’ freedom of association. Markets can sort this out. If you don’t want to go to a gun-free event, don’t. If you don’t want to go to an event that allows guns, don’t.  It’s really that simple.”

Republicans will laud the law that forces association on private organizations. Democrats are already dishonestly making this about Constitutional Carry, a law that has nothing to do with this situation. Meanwhile, Graham supports a change in law giving the decision-making ability back to organizers to set requirements for participation in their events, a real solution.

If we really want to Strike the Root of the problem we need to have a conversation about public land in general. If this were private property this wouldn’t even be a question, the owners of that private property would be able to make whatever rules they wanted regarding participation.

Find out more about the campaign at Graham4GA.com. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

Libertarian Candidate for Lieutenant Governor calls for Real School Choice

ATLANTA, GACandidate for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, Ryan Graham, has made education choice a major focus of his campaign. 

While the Georgia legislature has paid lip service to some small aspects of “school choice,” Graham believes it doesn’t go near far enough to ensure actual choices are available to parents and students seeking alternative education opportunities.

“Bureaucratic red tape is still an impediment to many families in their effort to secure the best possible education for their children,” says Graham. “Those in power want to dictate what qualifies as an educational expense and force parents to sign curriculum agreements that don’t allow for innovation. This isn’t real choice. It isn’t freedom.”

Real choice, Graham contends, allows for limitless innovation and promotes growth and individuality in a way that our current public school system fails to do. He believes that for such new options to thrive, parents and guardians must be empowered to use their child’s educational funding in the ways that best serve the child. 

The Lieutenant Governor hopeful seeks to empower students, families, and teachers not only through a school choice program, but also by promoting curriculum innovation. The Libertarian candidate believes state bureaucrats and politicians have suffocated innovative ideas and would like to see teachers, parents, and local community leaders take the lead on such issues.

AJC Polling Shows Strong Support for Libertarian in Lt Governors Race

Atlanta, GA – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has released a poll that includes ALL candidates on the ballot for Lt. Governor and the results show strong support for the Libertarian candidate, Ryan Graham. In recent history, Libertarians have gotten a little over 2% of the vote in three-way General Elections. Graham is polling at 7%.

“We’re leading among voters that consider themselves Independent, a group that has been growing steadily year over year,” said Graham. “What that tells me is there is a large voting block that feels under-represented by the two old parties and they’re looking for more choices on their ballot.”

Georgians are sick and tired of the hyper-partisanship coming out of the Republican and Democratic parties. Graham offers an alternative and a focus on issues instead of politics. “I will continue focusing my message on educational freedom, criminal justice reform, and election reform, issues that matter to Georgians. I will continue pressing my opponents to answer important policy questions instead of offering evermore empty campaign rhetoric.”

Find out more about the campaign at Graham4GA.com. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

Georgia Voters Disenfranchised Again by Antiquated Ballot Access Law

ATLANTA, GA –  For the past few months, Ryan Graham has been focused on his campaign for Lieutenant Governor. Meanwhile, Angela Pence was looking to take on controversial Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene in the 14th Congressional District.

Unfortunately, only one of these names will appear on Georgia ballots this November. Pence will not be on the ballot for Northwest Georgians in the 14th District this fall thanks to a state ballot access law dating back to 1943. Georgia has the most arduous ballot access laws in the country with the original intent of the law being to keep Communist Party members off of the ballot. The law dictates a third-party or independent candidate wanting to be on the General Election ballot would need to acquire petition signatures from 5% of their district—in some places, you are looking at over 20,000 signatures. “It’s unbelievably frustrating that I get to be on the ballot and Angela does not,” says Graham. “Angela worked tirelessly since January when petitioning legally began, traveling, meeting people, paying her $5,220 filing fee just to be denied. The system is rigged.” 

Graham also admires Pence’s hard work and dedication in trying to gain ballot access as she is a mother to eight children with another on the way. “I give Angela and the other nominated candidates who went out there and gave it their all my respect and admiration for seeing it through,” says Graham. “To deny these people of character and determination the opportunity to have their names appear on the ballot is heartbreaking, but to also deny Georgia voters the opportunity to cast their ballot for these remarkable people is voter disenfranchisement to the core. ”To learn more about Ryan Graham and his campaign for Lieutenant Governor, please visit Graham4GA.com. Inquiries can be sent directly to Mr. Graham by email.

Press Release: Call For Handmarked Paper Ballots

(ATLANTA, GA.) – Ryan Graham, candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Chair of the Libertarian Party of Georgia is calling on the Georgia State Election Board to authorize the use of emergency paper ballot procedures in the 2022 election. Recent revelations that Georgia’s digital voting machine software has been compromised make Graham’s call to action urgent for all in-person voters.

Graham, along with other Libertarian, Republican, and Democratic candidates and officials, has signed a letter to the Board calling for voters to receive hand-marked ballots for 2022 – ballots that would leave a paper trail and enable transparent auditing, which Georgia’s computerized ballot marking devices conceal. “Empowering the public’s votes and ensuring votes are accurately counted is a fundamental pillar of good governance, and of my campaign.”

Georgia’s voting relies on electronic touchscreen software owned by Dominion Voting System. Libertarians and other transparency activists raised massive concerns before a Republican-controlled assembly adopted the machines, but in the intervening years, the stakes have shifted.  

First, reports of the Georgia Dominion software being susceptible to hacking cast doubt on the election process. Similar reports of “unauthorized access” to vote-counting software have been raised in Michigan and Colorado

Second, the ballot marking device (BMD) ballots are not verified nor able to be audited. The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is reviewing vulnerabilities with the BMD devices. Election security experts point to potentially undetectable manipulations and miscounting, using the BMD systems.

“The process has been made opaque and complicated on purpose,” Graham said, “to make it more difficult for voters to be heard.” Graham’s fellow candidates have raised similar concerns in the past two election cycles. “Hand-marked ballots are an accurate and secure way for people to vote. We have transparent methods where the voters’ intent is easy to determine – please pay attention to who wants the process to be  more vulnerable and less secure.”

Graham is working with a multi-partisan group of candidates to investigate and advocate the Election Board use hand-marked ballots (which are far less susceptible to manipulation, and can be cross-checked later), to increase voter confidence.

Electronically recorded, barcode-only voting also raises concerns about potential foreign – particularly Russian – meddling or hacking that might disrupt November’s elections or tallying. Federal government officials have called on states to defend their cyber-security: Georgia, according to Graham and other experts, has failed to do so.

In his time as Chair of LP Georgia, Graham has consistently called for handmarked, auditable paper ballots, as well as a ranked-choice voting system and ballot reform that would give Georgians more choices on every ballot. If transparency doesn’t improve, Graham argues, Georgians might never actually have a choice at all. 

Everyone is encouraged to visit Graham4GA.com, or connect on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, to learn more about issues, volunteer, donate, or connect to the campaign. 

PR: More voices and more choices in Georgia elections

(ATLANTA, GA.) –   The Libertarian Party of Georgia is fighting for its own candidates to appear on ballots despite the disapproval of incumbents even though one in three Georgia General Assembly candidates won’t have a single challenger, the two-party system won’t allow anyone else to offer Georgians a different choice. 

In a recent article in The Georgia Virtue it was identified that 30.3 percent of state Senate races and 26.1 percent of state Representative races are unopposed in both the Primary and General elections. “The Republican and Democratic party establishments are getting exactly what they want here,” says Libertarian Party of Georgia Chair and Lieutenant Governor candidate Ryan Graham. “Incumbent state Senators and Representatives are running unopposed in BOTH the primary and general election. Voters in those districts have literally no choice, and no representation. They already won. The voting doesn’t even matter.”

“Of course incumbents don’t want more challengers,” continued Graham. “Ballot access barriers are designed to discourage anyone running outside that partisan system, so we have people out there who want to run to improve their communities and then realize how effectively the game has been rigged,” says Graham. “You can’t have a fair and free election with only one candidate appearing on one-third of ballots. The two-party system wants to consolidate power, by robbing voters of literally any choice.”

Graham sees the ballot access law as voter disenfranchisement, because local partisan committees pre-screen who voters can choose between. “When only one or two candidates can seek a seat, the vast majority of Georgia’s diverse views aren’t being represented. Voters are deprived of the opportunity to choose, and to vote for a candidate who might be closer to their views,” Graham contends. “Elections should select representatives, not rubber-stamp a forgone conclusion. Very simply, we need more voices and more choices in our political process…not less.”

The Libertarian Party of Georgia has petitioned the 11th Circuit to review the pending  case challenging the existing ballot access laws en banc (meaning before all 12 of its judges). Ryan Graham is running for Georgia Lieutenant Governor, promising to “Strike the Root” and calling for meaningful reforms throughout the entire state. To learn more about the Graham campaign, please visit Graham4GA.com. If you have any questions or would like to contact Ryan directly, please email ryan@graham4ga.com

Atlanta’s Ryan Graham Seeks to “Strike the Root” in Lt. Governor’s Race

(ATLANTA, GA.) Libertarian Party of Georgia Chairman Ryan Graham announces his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor in 2022. The 36-year-old IT Project Manager is running on a wide range of issues, prioritizing criminal justice, education, health care, and election reforms. 

 “The two old parties have not lived up to the expectations of the voters, and continue to ignore policy issues important to Georgians,” says Graham. 

“State government wants to create ‘solutions’ but instead create unintended consequences that are often worse than the original problem,” Graham continues. That’s why his campaign slogan is “Strike the Root” – he intends to go after root causes of social issues, rather than try to treat symptoms, which solves nothing and invites both abuses of power and  bureaucratic waste. 

Topping Graham’s list of policy priorities is education reform. Two-thirds of Georgia public school students don’t read ‘proficiently’ for their grade level, and have fallen even farther behind during the pandemic. “The priorities of bureaucracies are very different from those of children and families,” Graham says. “We’re spending more money than ever, administering more tests, assigning more homework, requiring more hours, and none of it has improved outcomes. It’s time to do something fundamentally different, not just more of what we know doesn’t work.”

Graham is especially critical of standardized testing, which he says does not truly measure student aptitude or learning. Research shows high-stakes testing actually damages long-term learning by encouraging ‘teaching to the test,’ and neglecting harder-to-measure but more meaningful outcomes. The state has large, costly contracts with companies who create and score those tests, and Graham believes that money could be better spent on things that serve students, like innovating curricula to support students’ strengths and aspirations. A father of a school-age daughter himself, Graham wants more choices for all Georgia’s students. 

Graham’s candidacy calls for major reform into what he calls government overreach into the private lives and choices of citizens, especially as a response to COVID-19. “Number one, no vaccine mandates,” declares Graham. “The decision to receive a vaccine is between an individual and their healthcare provider;   no government has the authority to make that decision for you.” 

The Libertarian candidate’s views on personal autonomy carry over to the War on Drugs, where government’s insistence that it can control people’s choices has led to far greater social consequences than drug use itself. He believes Georgia should decriminalize drug possession and legalize cannabis,  as other states have done. Ending drug-war-era abuses of power (including militarized police, no-knock raids, and the seizing of property by police without any criminal charges or convictions), he says, will restore basic civil liberties Georgians have lost.

As a third-party candidate, Graham pays special attention to methods incumbents use to keep alternatives off the ballot and away from voters’ attention. He promotes a slate of reforms, including  fair ballot access laws, ranked choice voting, and hand-marked paper ballots to replace Georgia’s easily hacked and manipulated voting machines. “I want there to be more choices that represent more Georgians,” declares Graham. “If independents and minor parties are not actively blocked from ballots, and the voting rules are fairer,” Graham argues, “more people could  actually vote FOR someone who represents them and not just against the other guy.” 

Everyone is encouraged to visit the campaign’s website Graham4GA.com to learn more about issues, sign up to volunteer, make a donation, or message the campaign.