U.S. District Court Rules Pennsylvania System of Imposing Costs on Minor Party Petitions that Lack Sufficient Signatures is Unconstitutional

A U.S. District Court judge ruled last week that the process of imposing large costs to minor parties and candidates in Pennsylvania is unconstitutional.

In 2004, Presidential candidate Ralph Nader was ordered to pay over $81,102 in court costs after his petition was invalidated. Two years later, Green Party U.S. Senate nominee Carl Romanelli was also ordered to pay $80,407 when his petition was deemed invalid.

In 2012, the Libertarian Party petition for President had as many as 70 volunteers checking petition signatures all day at the elections department for a week.

That year, the Constitution Party withdrew its petition for their Presidential candidate for fear of being assessed these costs if their petition was found invalid. Other non-establishment parties and candidates have withdrawn petitions in election years when challenged for the same reason.

Click to hear to read the full Ballot Access News article.


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