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Third parties in Pennsylvania team up for ballot access lawsuit

from Ballot Access News
Pennsylvania Minor Parties File Brief in 3rd Circuit
October 20th, 2010

On October 20, the Constitution, Green and Libertarian Parties of Pennsylvania filed this 39-page brief in the Third Circuit.  The case is Constitution Party of Pennsylvania v Cortes, 10-3205.  The issues are the Pennsylvania challenge system that subjects minor parties and independent candidates to the risk of paying up to $100,000 if they submit a petition that is insufficient; Pennsylvania’s abysmal record of counting and tallying write-ins; and the state’s threshold for a party to be ballot-qualified without petitioning.  That threshold is that it have registration membership of 15% of the state total, a hurdle so high that if the same law existed in Utah, the Democratic Party would not be on the ballot; and if it existed in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island, the Republican Party would not be ballot-qualified.

The U.S. District Court had refused to adjudicate the lawsuit on the grounds that the plaintiffs lack standing or their claims are not ripe.

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