Ballot Access News

All I know is what Decision of the Day says about it, but the Sixth Circuit just struck down some of Ohio’s ballot access provisions:

In an important election law ruling, a divided Sixth Circuit panel has declared unconstitutional Ohio’s system by which minor political parties gain access to the ballot. Under Ohio law, parties that received less than 5% of the vote in prior elections must submit signatures in order to be included on the ballot for the next general election. Signatures are due 120 days before the primary election, which means that minor political parties have to submit their signatures a year before the general election.

The Libertarian Party challenged this law after being disqualified from the 2004 elections for not using the correct forms for its signature petitions. The district court upheld Ohio’s law, but the Sixth Circuit reverses. The majority concludes that the length of time between the signature due date and the general election violates the First Amendment because it places a severe burden on minor political parties’ ability to organize supporters and choose candidates.

That does not sound like it would have much applicability to Alabama’s ridiculous signature requirements, and a Sixth Circuit decision is not binding in Alabama anyway. But I’ll still read the decision later and offer my two cents.

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