By NICK REID
January 16, 2016
In about two weeks, the Free State Project expects its 20,000th signer to agree to move to New Hampshire. Then, a five-year countdown begins for its libertarian participants to hold up their end of the bargain.
The milestone will come nearly 15 years after the first signature was penned, following a 2001 manifesto written by founder Jason Sorens, a political theorist who has a doctorate in political science from Yale and lectures at Dartmouth College.
The nonprofit group envisions relocating thousands of people to the state who would become active in various ways to severely limit the government’s scope. Nearly 2,000 signers who have already moved are playing out the idea.
Carla Gericke, the president of the Free State Project, attributed the recent jolt in signers to an ad campaign on Facebook that targets people who like libertarian pages.
About 3 percent of the people who click on their ads go on to sign up for the Free State Project, she said. Meanwhile, 20 to 30 new movers are coming to the state each month, which is high for the winter, she said.
Next month the group will hold its annual conference in Manchester, called Liberty Forum, which will feature a video chat with National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Gericke said she expects this summer’s PorcFest, an annual gathering in the North Country, to see a boost after the 20,000th signature is attained.