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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Validates Signatures in which Voter Used Shortened Form of First Name

Published on January 20, 2013, by in General.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that names on petitions are valid, even when the signer uses a shortened form of his or her first name. The Court reversed the Commonwealth Court, which had invalidated these signatures: one in which the signer signed “Ed” when his name is really Edward; one in which the signer signed “Cindy” when her name is Cynthia; one in which the signer used “Ray” instead of Raymond; and one in which the signature reads “Don” instead of Donald.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision was made last year, but just now has been reported. It is In re Nomination Petition of Gales, 54 A.3d 855 (2012).

6 Responses

  1. Jed Siple

    These court decisions should make petition gathering here in PA much easier. However, when I run I’ll still advise my signature gatherers to ask that the signer put their information as it appears on their voter I.D. card, and month/day/year on the date. Better safe than sorry.

  2. Demo Rep

    One more *substantial compliance with the LAW* case — esp. in election LAW cases — to make some sort of appearance of Democracy seem to work.

  3. Andy

    Good ruling. This will make ballot access in Pennsylvania more reasonable.

  4. Jeff Becker

    Isn’t this what Republicans threatened the Constitution Party with last year over Virgil Goode’s petition signatures? When was this ruling made last year? Before or after the general election filing deadline?

  5. Andy

    “Jeff Becker Says:
    January 21st, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Isn’t this what Republicans threatened the Constitution Party with over Virgil Goode’s petition signatures?”

    This was one of many reasons that they were looking to disqualify signatures.

    The problem was that the validity rate on most of the signatures pages that got checked was low. They did not think that they’d have enough to survive the challenge, so the Constitution Party threw in the towel rather than risk having to pay a fine if they lost the challenge.

    The main reason that the Libertarian Party was able to survive the challenge is because they turned in 15,000 more raw signatures than the Constitution Party did.

  6. Richard Winger

    #5, it’s more accurate to say “court costs” than “fine”. “Fine” means some law was broken, and no one alleges that in these Pennsylvania challenges.

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