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Green and Constitution Parties Inform Fourth Circuit of Recent Favorable Ballot Access Decisions

The Green Party and the Constitution Party are waiting for the 4th circuit to issue an opinion in Pisano v Strach, which was argued in October 2013. On February 4, the two parties informed the court of two favorable ballot access decisions that have been released in other states, since the oral argument. These other decisions are not controlling but they can be influential. One of them was from December 2013, when the New Mexico April petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties was struck down. The other was from January 2014, when the Eleventh Circuit reinstated the Georgia ballot access appeal and said that presidential ballot access is entitled to extra protection (by coincidence, the Georgia case was also filed by the Green and Constitution Parties, and also concerns presidential access).

The North Carolina case concerns whether the May petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties is too early. It also concerns a procedural issue: whether the U.S. District Court should have permitted discovery to reveal evidence that North Carolina doesn’t need a May deadline. For example, in 1988, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voluntarily set that deadline aside and permitted the New Alliance Party to submit its signatures in July, because the Board felt if it didn’t, the New Alliance Party would sue and would probably win a case against the May deadline.

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