On September 30, Alabama filed this 4-page brief in Hall v Bennett, the case over whether the ballot access requirements in the December 17, 2013 special U.S. House elections should be adjusted, due to a much shorter petitioning time than in normal circumstances. The state’s brief says nothing about the numerous federal court decisions that ruled that when the petitioning period is much shorter than normal, either the number of signatures should be reduced, or the deadline should be extended.
The state is requiring 5,938 valid signatures by September 24. Normally the petitioning period for an independent candidate is, in effect, two years, because the state has no limit on when a petition may begin to circulate. In this special election, though, it was not possible to petition until June 29, when the state waived the usual rule that the date of the election must be printed on the petition. The date of the election itself was not set until July 29.
The plaintiff, James Hall, an independent candidate, did submit 2,835 signatures by the deadline. No other petitioning candidate submitted any petition.