Nader Wants Back On PA Ballot
Oct 15, 2004 4:41 pm US/Eastern
HARRISBURG (AP) Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader took his battle for a spot on Pennsylvania's ballot to the state Supreme Court on Friday in a brief arguing that a lower court erred two days earlier when it invalidated his nominating petition.
In a 64-page brief, Nader's lawyers said the state Commonwealth Court should have allowed signatures from people who are not registered to vote. The filing said signatories need only be "qualified electors."
After examining 51,000 signatures that Nader's campaign submitted to state elections officials, judges said fewer than 19,000 met the necessary legal standard. That left Nader well short of the 25,697 needed for inclusion on the Nov. 2 ballot.
"The final order entered by Commonwealth Court is premised on an erroneous interpretation of the law: namely, that the signatories and affiants of nomination papers must be registered voters at the addresses listed by them on the nomination papers at or before the time they sign," Nader's lawyers wrote.
Reinstating more than 15,000 signatures that were struck on those grounds would leave Nader with a comfortable margin of about 8,000 names more than required.
"All of these signatures have been struck solely because the Commonwealth Court has judicially interposed a voter registration requirement into the definition of the term 'qualified elector' ... even though such judicial activism serves no compelling state interest," his lawyers said.
Nader also alleges that the hearings at which 11 judges examined the petitions lacked uniform standards and violated his constitutional due-process and equal-protection rights.
Lawyers for the eight people who challenged Nader's petition argued in their own brief filed Friday that "qualified electors" must be registered voters or there would be no way to test their qualifications. Without a voter registration form, they said, it would be impossible to tell if they meet age and residency rules for voters, and no way to verify signatures.
They also cited "pervasive fraud" in Nader's petitions that the presiding Commonwealth Court judge said "shocks the conscience."
"The serious and significant deficiencies in the candidates' nominating paper -- indeed the fraudulent and deceitful nature of the petitions -- are manifest," the lawyers wrote.
Also Friday, Nader requested that the state Supreme Court prevent the Department of State from certifying the presidential ballot names until it rules on the nominating-petition challenge. A temporary stay, he said, would prevent absentee and overseas ballots from being printed and mailed without his name before the matter is decided.
The case is being heard on an expedited basis, and Supreme Court officials said a decision could come within days, perhaps as early as Monday.
A nice 3% bounce for Kerry in PA.
Might even help Bush a bit. Nader supporters understand that it's the Dems keeping him off the ballot.
What? You expect us to VOID THE LAW?
... or vote for BUSH in the ultimate act of revenge!
I don’t thinks so anybody that would have voted for Nader will just stay home instead.