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Monday July 4th, 2022 1:22AM

Appeals court restores ballot access rule for 3rd parties

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling and restored a hefty signature requirement for third-party candidates seeking to run for certain offices in Georgia.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled that requiring third-party candidates for non-statewide offices to submit a petition signed by at least 5% of registered voters doesn't violate constitutional protections, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. No third-party candidate for U.S. House has ever been able to collect enough signatures to appear on the ballot, the newspaper reported.

A 1943 state law sets a 1% signature threshold for third-party candidates seeking statewide office such as governor or U.S. senator, but raises the signature requirement to at least 5% of registered voters for other offices such as U.S. House or state legislative seats.

Nominees from the Republican and Democratic parties automatically appear on the ballot.

U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May had ruled in March that Georgia’s requirements for third-party candidates were “overbroad” and unconstitutional. In September she ruled that the state must allow third-party candidates for non-statewide offices to appear on the ballot if they collect the signatures of 1% of registered voters.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had appealed May's ruling.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
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