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Ballot Access

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NEWS
July 24, 2004 | By Michael Currie Schaffer and Tom Infield INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Presidential candidate seeks petition signatures. No experience necessary. Will pay $$$. Scrambling to maneuver around Pennsylvania's tough ballot-access laws and gather 25,697 signatures before an Aug. 2 deadline, independent Ralph Nader's campaign has recruited scores to circulate petitions for the candidate - a number of them homeless people drawn by the promise of up to one dollar a signature. The effort could have a profound effect on the closely fought battle over the state's 21 electoral votes.
NEWS
July 1, 1993 | By Susan Caba, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Chester County lawyer Robert B. Surrick will have an easier time getting on November's ballot as a candidate for the state Supreme Court after a federal court ruling yesterday. How much easier won't be clear until at least Tuesday, after a hearing to determine how many signatures Surrick - the candidate of the H. Ross Perot- inspired Patriot Party - will need to get on the ballot. U.S. District Judge Edward N. Cahn ruled that a portion of Pennsylvania's ballot access law is unconstitutional.
NEWS
June 26, 1997 | By Robert Moran, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
Gov. Ridge yesterday vetoed a bill that would have made it more difficult for third-party and independent candidates to get on the ballot, saying the legislation "would excessively increase the burdens" of those candidates. The governor's action was cheered by ballot-access proponents, but bitterly bemoaned by Republican legislative leaders. They complained that they were not aware that Ridge had concerns about what turned out to be a controversial proposal until after it was passed by both houses.
NEWS
August 30, 2010
Marakay Rogers, Kat Valleley, and Doug Jamison wanted to run for statewide office on the Libertarian Party ticket. They collected 25,033 signatures to comply with Pennsylvania's ballot-access requirements. That's 23,033 more than are required for Republican and Democratic state candidates. Republican and Democratic power brokers do not want ballot choice for Pennsylvania voters, and challenged the signatures of all third-party and independent statewide candidates. In 2004 and 2006, the courts assessed more than $80,000 in fees to a candidate who lost a ballot access challenge.
NEWS
November 16, 1986
On Nov. 10, The Inquirer published its second post-election story highlighting the success of incumbents this year ("In Penna., a year of the incumbent"). Neither it nor the previous article really dealt with why the "ins" stay in office. Politics is unique. It is the only game in which the winners get to change the rules - and the changes don't make it easier for the next guy who wants to play. Lawmakers get to change the rules in two important ways. They regulate campaign financing, and they control ballot access.
NEWS
May 22, 1992 | by Ron Goldwyn, Daily News Staff Writer Daily News wire services contributed to this report
Ross Perot's challenge to his supporters - "Put me on all 50 state ballots" - isn't turning out to be so tough. Perot and his backers, in stressing and perhaps exaggerating the difficulty, have turned ballot access into a potent political tool. The petition drives have built both wildfire enthusiasm and, through the network of state and county committees, a potential campaign organization. Supporters have enough signatures in hand to qualify Perot in 35 states, according to ballot expert Richard Winger, with the rest not likely to be a problem.
NEWS
June 18, 1997 | by John M. Baer, Daily News Staff Writer
Without public hearings in the waning hours of its session, the state Legislature passed and sent to Gov. Ridge a measure making it tougher for third-party and independent candidates to challenge the supremacy of the two dominant parties. By overwhelming bipartisan margins, lawmakers enacted a bill to greatly increase - in some cases nearly quadruple - the number of citizen signatures that minor-party candidates need to get on election ballots. Republican leaders say the intent is to end "frivolous" candidacies and make the election law fairer.
NEWS
October 2, 2000 | By Maria Recio, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Patrick J. Buchanan, the Reform Party candidate who was once a GOP stalwart, is fighting to get on the ballot in two states - Florida and Michigan - where his presence could hurt the candidate of his old party, George W. Bush. Today, a state judge in Tallahassee will decide if Buchanan is entitled to be on the ballot in Florida, where the race between Bush and Vice President Gore is a dead heat. With its 25 electoral votes, Florida is in a critical position to determine the election outcome - even Buchanan's 1 percent poll showing could matter.
NEWS
August 20, 2004 | By Tom Infield INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Lawyers battling over Ralph Nader's petition to get on the ballot in Pennsylvania might have found a shortcut for going over the 32,000 contested voter signatures in court. The lawyers agreed yesterday during a meeting with a Commonwealth Court judge to take a random sample of 500 of the 49,000 signatures submitted by the Nader campaign. They will then scrutinize each of the 500 to see what percentage are registered voters. Samuel C. Stretton, Nader's attorney, said that if 70 percent of the sample signatures are fraudulent or otherwise invalid - as Democrats allied with Sen. John Kerry predict - he might advise Nader to throw in the towel.
NEWS
July 14, 2007 | By Thomas Fitzgerald INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's not enough that Democratic activists got the courts to bar independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader from the Pennsylvania ballot in 2004. Now, the Pittsburgh law firm that handled the case is pursuing Nader as a deadbeat because he refuses to pay its litigation costs. "This is a miscarriage of justice," said Nader, who is scheduled to address the Green Party national convention tonight in Reading. Nader, who is considering running for president again next year, said that the judgment against him was part of a political vendetta.
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NEWS
April 17, 2014 | By Allison Steele and Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writers
Ardmore businessman and conservative activist Bob Guzzardi, a self-described "nuisance" to the Republican Party, can challenge Gov. Corbett in next month's primary election, a judge ruled Tuesday. After Guzzardi gathered more than 3,000 signatures to get on the ballot, members of the state Republican Party took him to court, arguing that some signatures were invalid, that he misstated his occupation, and that he did not file a statement of financial information on time. Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt found there was not enough evidence to knock Guzzardi off the May 20 ballot.
NEWS
April 15, 2012 | By Andrew Rasiej
Last year the world watched as Arab Spring protesters used the Internet and social media to organize demonstrations and to share them in real time across the globe, toppling Middle East dictators and reordering human history. This year, technology and social media sites, most visibly Facebook and Twitter, continue to have a dramatic impact on the political world. In January, millions of people signed online petitions and contacted members of Congress protesting efforts to pass poorly crafted legislation on online piracy.
NEWS
August 30, 2010
Marakay Rogers, Kat Valleley, and Doug Jamison wanted to run for statewide office on the Libertarian Party ticket. They collected 25,033 signatures to comply with Pennsylvania's ballot-access requirements. That's 23,033 more than are required for Republican and Democratic state candidates. Republican and Democratic power brokers do not want ballot choice for Pennsylvania voters, and challenged the signatures of all third-party and independent statewide candidates. In 2004 and 2006, the courts assessed more than $80,000 in fees to a candidate who lost a ballot access challenge.
NEWS
August 21, 2008 | By Larry Eichel INQUIRER SENIOR WRITER
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr said yesterday that the growth of executive power was one of the main threats facing the United States. During a campaign visit to Philadelphia, the former Republican congressman from Georgia described the post-9/11 expansion of presidential prerogatives as "dramatic and breathtaking" and the Constitution "in danger of being washed away. " Said Barr, "I would view the power I would inherit from President Bush as a ceiling, not a floor," while Barack Obama and John McCain would see it "as a floor to be built on and expanded.
NEWS
July 14, 2007 | By Thomas Fitzgerald INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's not enough that Democratic activists got the courts to bar independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader from the Pennsylvania ballot in 2004. Now, the Pittsburgh law firm that handled the case is pursuing Nader as a deadbeat because he refuses to pay its litigation costs. "This is a miscarriage of justice," said Nader, who is scheduled to address the Green Party national convention tonight in Reading. Nader, who is considering running for president again next year, said that the judgment against him was part of a political vendetta.
NEWS
September 27, 2006
Pennsylvania election law treats third-party candidates like outsiders at the gates of an exclusionary country club. The state should open the gates to ballot access. The latest outsider is Carl Romanelli, a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate. A state judge on Monday tossed Romanelli off the ballot because he didn't collect enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions. To qualify for the ballot, the state says Romanelli needs at least 67,070 signatures of registered voters - nearly the attendance at an Eagles home game.
NEWS
September 12, 2004 | By Kathleen Brady Shea INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A rummage sale across the street attracted more patrons - but not more passion - than a Ralph Nader gathering in Philadelphia yesterday. Almost 200 people paid $10 ($5 for students and seniors) to hear Nader, an independent candidate for president, discuss his vision for America. Nader arrived at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia on Chestnut Street in a Ford Taurus with an entourage of three. He was 45 minutes late, but no one seemed to mind. Andrew Mehdizadeh, 18, a student at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., cut into a weekend visit with his parents in Avondale to assist with yesterday's program.
NEWS
September 2, 2004
If Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court has interpreted election law correctly in the case of Ralph Nader, then that law, to paraphrase Dickens, is a braying donkey. No law should keep an independent candidate for President off a state's ballot simply because that candidate appears on another state's ballot under a different party label. But a three-judge panel has decided to bar Nader from Pennsylvania's ballot for precisely that reason. The court said Monday that Nader's candidacy for President on the Reform Party ballot in Michigan disqualifies him from running as an independent presidential candidate in Pennsylvania.
NEWS
August 20, 2004 | By Tom Infield INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Lawyers battling over Ralph Nader's petition to get on the ballot in Pennsylvania might have found a shortcut for going over the 32,000 contested voter signatures in court. The lawyers agreed yesterday during a meeting with a Commonwealth Court judge to take a random sample of 500 of the 49,000 signatures submitted by the Nader campaign. They will then scrutinize each of the 500 to see what percentage are registered voters. Samuel C. Stretton, Nader's attorney, said that if 70 percent of the sample signatures are fraudulent or otherwise invalid - as Democrats allied with Sen. John Kerry predict - he might advise Nader to throw in the towel.
NEWS
August 15, 2004 | By Michael Currie Schaffer INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader has recruited a veteran of local election-law battles to help him fight a Democratic nominating-petition challenge, an indication that Nader plans an aggressive legal effort to get his name on the Pennsylvania ballot. Lawyer Samuel C. Stretton, whose past political clients include unsuccessful state Senate candidate James Tayoun and onetime Philadelphia City Council contender Julie Welker, will defend Nader against accusations that up to 85 percent of the nomination-petition signatures filed by the independent candidate were marred by forgery or other problems.
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