Georgia third parties initiate lawsuit for ballot access

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June 15, 2012


By Johanna Herman

ATLANTA, Georgia: The Green and Constitution parties in Georgia have brought forth a lawsuit against the state arguing that the state's ballot access laws violate the constitution. Both parties are required to gather thousands of signatures to get on to the ballot in the first place and the parties argue that violates the law. A spokesman for the state election office stated that Georgia ballot access laws have been challenged before, even up to the Supreme Court, and they have still been upheld. The parties have argued that candidates from their parties are able to get on other state ballots, but it is much harder in Georgia. Georgia law states that unless a party's candidate is not automatically placed on the ballot unless the party got at least one percent of the vote int he last previous election. In order for a third party candidate to make it on the general election ballot they would need to collect 51,989 valid signatures, one percent of the total registered voters who were eligible to vote in the previous election.

A minor party presidential candidate has not successfully qualified for the state ballot since 2000. The lawsuit states that the state violates constitutional law which gives equal protection, that no person or group can be denied legal rights granted to others in similar circumstances. Most states also require minor parties to collect signatures to get on to the state ballot, but Ballot Access News has noted that Georgia's requirements for US House positions are the most restrictive in the country.[1]

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