Former Georgia congressional candidate to appeal ballot access ruling
ATLANTA, Georgia: Faye Coffield announced that in light of the recent ruling on Coffield v. Handel, she plans to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 11th Circuit. In June 2009, Senior US District Judge Robert Vining ruled against Coffield, who argued that the state's ballot access laws are too restrictive for third party and independent candidates, citing that the law had already been upheld in previous court cases.
In 2008, Coffield challenged US Rep. Hank Johnson for his seat in the November 2008 general election as a write-in candidate because she was unable to gather 15,000 petition signatures of registered voters in order to get on the ballot. Shortly after, Coffield filed a lawsuit that claimed that Georgia's ballot access laws for third parties and independents in US Congressional District races are too restrictive. According to state law, independents must collect "the signatures of at least five percent of the total number of registered voters in the previous election in order to be included on the ballot."