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Georgia Asks for Reconsideration in Presidential Ballot Access Case

On January 27, Georgia asked for reconsideration in the Eleventh Circuit in Green Party of Georgia v Kemp, 13-11816. This web page had previously reported that Georgia did not ask for reconsideration. However, it turns out that the rules permit reconsideration within three weeks of the original decision, not two weeks. BAN regrets the error.

The state’s brief, asking for reconsideration, says “It is unassailable that a signature requirement of 5% to qualify as a political body is valid.” This is not true. There are at least thirteen decisions that hold that petitions below 5% are unconstitutional, including one by the U.S. Supreme Court itself.

Courts do find that severe petitions, even if they are lower than 5% of the number of registered voters, are unconstitutional, if the evidence shows that it is obvious there is no need for the required number of signatures. These decisions include:

1. Alabama: Patton v Camp, 1990. A petition of 1% of the number of registered voters for an independent candidate was unconstitutional, given that a newly-qualifying party only needed a petition of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote.

2. Arkansas: Citizens to Establish a Reform Party in Arkansas v Priest, 1996. A petition of 3% of the last gubernatorial vote was unconstitutional, given that a statewide independent only needed 10,000 signatures.

3. Colorado: Ptak v Meyer, 1994. A petition of 1,000 signatures for legislature was unconstitutional, given that a U.S. House candidate only needed 500 signatures.

4. Florida: Danciu v Glisson, 1974. A petition of 5% of the registered voters for an independent candidate was unconstitutional, given that a newly-qualifying party needed 3% of the registered voters.

5. Illinois State Board of Elections, 1979. A petition of 5% of the last vote cast for for Mayor of Chicago was unconstitutional, given that the statewide petition was a smaller number, 25,000 signatures. This decision was unanimous and was from the U.S. Supreme Court.

6. Iowa: Oviatt v Baxter, 1992. A petition of 2% of the last gubernatorial vote for U.S. House was unconstitutional, given that the statewide petition was 1,000 signatures.

7. Kansas: Reagan v State, 1982. A petition of 3% of the last gubernatorial vote for newly-qualifying parties was unconstitutional, given that old qualified parties were permitted to remain on the ballot with no numerical showing of support and the old parties had never needed any petition.

8. Michigan: Socialist Workers Party v Secretary of State, 1982. A showing of support of three-tenths of 1% of the total vote cast in a primary was unconstitutional, given the historical record that showed in practice this was very difficult to achieve (this was a vote test in a primary).

9. New York: Rockefeller v Powers, 1996. A petition of 5% of the number of registered voters, for a presidential primary candidate within any particular U.S. House district in which he or she tried to qualify, was unconstitutional, given the historical record that showed in practice this was very difficult to achieve.

10. North Carolina: Delaney v Bartlett, 2004. A petition of 2% of the number of registered voters for statewide independents was unconstitutional, given that newly-qualifying parties only needed a petition of 2% of the last gubernatorial vote.

11. North Dakota: McLain v Meier, 1980. A petition of 15,000 signatures for newly-qualifying parties was unconstitutional, given the historical record that showed the petition, in practice, was so difficult it had only been used once in the 41 years it had existed.

12. Tennessee: Libertarian Party of Tennessee v Goins, 2010. A petition of 2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote for newly-qualifying parties was unconstitutional, given the historical record that showed the petition, in practice, was so difficult it had only been used once in the 69 years it had existed.

13. Tennessee: Green Party of Tennessee v Hargett, 2012. A petition of 2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote for newly-qualifying parties was unconstitutional, given that independent candidates only need 25 signatures.

One Response

  1. Demo Rep

    1. Every election is N-E-W.

    2. Separate is NOT equal. Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954

    3. Too many MORON lawyers and judges to count who are brain dead ignorant about 1 and 2 — since 1968 — Williams v. Rhodes.

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