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Unconstitutional Residency Requirement for Circulating Ballot Petitions

Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone
May 4, 2018
Available Online Only

Perry v. Judd (3:11-cv-856) and Shuttleworth v. Moran (3:12-cv-257) (John A. Gibney, Jr., E.D. Va.)
Two weeks before absentee ballots were to be ordered from printing companies for the 2012 Republican presidential primary in Virginia, Texas Governor Rick Perry filed a federal complaint alleging that his ballot petition was wrongfully rejected four days previously. Among his claims, Perry alleged that Virginia unconstitutionally required persons collecting petition signatures to be Virginia residents. The judge instructed the parties to provide other disqualified candidates with notice of the suit so that they could seek to intervene. On the day that ballot printing was to be ordered, the judge ruled that the ballots should not be printed until after a hearing four days later. The district judge and the court of appeals determined that Perry should have challenged ballot petition rules at the beginning of the petition period rather than at the end. The district judge also opined that it was unconstitutional to require signature gatherers to be residents. A few months later, a would-be candidate for a congressional primary election challenged the residency requirement because it caused him to be just a few signatures short of the requirement for the primary ballot. Perhaps in light of the district judge’s earlier opinion, the candidate was certified for the ballot.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; laches; primary election.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.