On October 3, the Alabama Constitution, Green, and Libertarian Parties asked for reconsideration in Stein v Chapman. Last month the U.S. District Court upheld the law that requires newly-qualifying parties to submit their 44,829 valid signatures by March. The District Court had said because the three parties were able to place their presidential nominees on the November 2012 ballot as independent candidates (which requires 5,000 signatures by September of the election year), the burden on them and their voters is “slight.”
The U.S. District Court based its decision on the U.S. Supreme Court 1997 decision that upheld a Minnesota state law that made it impossible for a candidate nominated by two parties to have both party names on the ballot next to his or her name. The Alabama court said therefore, keeping all of a party’s nominees from having their party name is also a “slight” burden. The request for rehearing points out the obvious difference between keeping a single nominee from having a party label on the ballot, versus depriving all of a party’s nominees of a party label.