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Independence Party demoted to minor-party status

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The Independence Party is less mighty in the eyes of the state of Minnesota.

The secretary of state's office formally informed the party's leader in a letter Tuesday that it has been downgraded from major- to minor-party status. That means its candidates must clear extra hurdles to get on ballots and won't have access to as much public campaign financing as before.

The political home of then-Gov. Jesse Ventura was demoted after none of its statewide candidates received at least 5 percent of the vote. It was the second consecutive election with that result.

Going forward, Independence Party candidates must submit nominating signatures from voters to qualify for the ballot.

Other minor parties are: the Green Party, the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party, the Legal Marijuana Now Party and the Libertarian Party.