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Getting on the Ballot

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Kaloshi v. New York City Board of Elections (Sterling Johnson, Jr., 1:02-cv-4762), Brown v. New York City Board of Elections (Raymond J. Dearie, 1:04-cv-3662), and Maslow v. Wilson (Edward R. Korman and Nicholas G. Garaufis, 1:06-cv-3683) (E.D.N.Y.)
A district judge ordered a candidate’s name added to a 2002 primary election ballot for state senate on a finding that it was unconstitutional to require that ballot petition signature witnesses be registered members of the party. After the election, the court of appeals vacated the holding, determining that the candidate, who did not prevail in the election, did not have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot after all, even after invalidations for the unconstitutional requirement were taken into account. An action filed in 2004 in the same court challenging the party-membership requirement was unsuccessful, because the second district judge did not agree with the first judge’s conclusion. Neither did a district judge presiding over a case filed in 2006, and the court of appeals affirmed the last judge’s ruling.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; primary election; intervention; matters for state courts; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Herschaft v. New York Board of Elections (1:00-cv-2748) and Herschaft v. New York City Campaign Finance Board (1:00-cv-3754) (Jack B. Weinstein and Carol B. Amon, E.D.N.Y.)
A pro se federal complaint alleged that a six-week period for obtaining ballot petition signatures failed to adequately accommodate a prospective candidate’s history of schizophrenia. A companion complaint challenged contribution reporting requirements for small contributions. Two district judges denied the plaintiff relief.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; campaign finance; pro se party; recusal; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Jefferson v. Louisiana Supreme Court (Robert G. James, W.D. La. 3:00-cv-2200)
A judge removed by the state’s supreme court for judicial conduct filed a federal complaint challenging his exclusion from an election to fill his vacant seat. The district judge determined that the federal court lacked jurisdiction to review a state court’s judgment.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; matters for state courts; primary election.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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Nader 2000 Primary Committee v. Hechler (Charles H. Haden II, S.D. W. Va. 2:00-cv-839)
Supporters of a presidential candidate challenged his disqualification from the general election ballot while another candidate qualified by submitting his ballot petition on the day before the number of signatures required to qualify doubled. The district judge granted the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction, also finding that it was probably unconstitutional for the state to require petition circulators to be registered to vote in the state.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

South Dakota Libertarian Party v. Gant (Lawrence L. Piersol, D.S.D. 4:14-cv-4132)
A party’s nominee was disqualified because the nominee’s party change was not effective until it was received by the county auditor, after the nomination. The district judge denied the party and the nominee a preliminary injunction, because the minimal burden of requiring the party change before the nomination was justified by the state’s interest in maintaining party integrity.
Topic: Getting on the ballot.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Myers v. Gant (Lawrence L. Piersol, D.S.D. 4:14-cv-4121)
An independent candidate for governor challenged South Dakota’s allowing a major-party candidate—but not an independent candidate—to name a substitute candidate for lieutenant governor. The district judge ruled the proscription unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction in the candidate’s favor.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Ferone v. Board of Elections (Andrew L. Carter, Jr., S.D.N.Y. 1:12-cv-6342)
After the district judge denied immediate relief to plaintiffs seeking by federal action to reverse the exclusion from the ballot of a prospective candidate whose ballot application papers were defective, the plaintiffs dismissed their case voluntarily.
Topic: Getting on the ballot.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Barr v. Ireland (John T. Copenhaver, Jr., S.D. W. Va. 2:08-cv-990)
A minor party complained that it was unfair to require it to submit ballot petition signatures in advance of major parties’ declaring their candidates. The district judge dismissed the complaint, finding the deadline reasonable in light of the time required to verify signatures before the preparation of absentee ballots. The judge also concluded that the reason that the party did not meet the deadline was that it started collecting signatures too late.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; intervention; absentee ballots.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Erard v. Johnson (Stephen J. Murphy III and Laurie J. Michelson, E.D. Mich. 2:12-cv-13627)
A socialist candidate for Congress filed a pro se federal complaint on August 15, 2012, challenging the state’s criteria for listing new political parties’ candidates on the ballot. The district court denied the candidate relief, and the court of appeals affirmed the denial.
Subject: Getting on the ballot. Topics: Getting on the ballot; pro se party; laches; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Arizona Public Integrity Alliance Inc. v. Bennett (Neil V. Wake, D. Ariz. 2:14-cv-1044)
Thirteen days before a deadline for primary election nomination petitions, a federal complaint challenged a requirement of a minimum number of signatures in each of at least three counties as favoring less populous counties. After a hearing held two weeks after the complaint was filed, the district judge denied a motion for preliminary relief as barred by laches. Several weeks later, the state conceded that the county-based signature requirement was unconstitutional, and the judge signed a stipulated judgment in the plaintiffs’ favor.
Topics: Getting on the ballot; laches; equal protection; primary election; early voting.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

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