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Federal judge strikes down restrictive Georgia presidential ballot access requirement

downloadU.S. District Court Judge Richard W. Story ruled Thursday that Georgia’s requirement that political organizations seeking to put a presidential candidate’s name on a statewide ballot have to get signatures from one percent of registered voters is unconstitutional.

The Green Party of Georgia and the Constitution Party of Georgia has filed suit against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp over the requirement, which in 2012 required 50,334 signatures for presidential ballot access. Story ruled that a presidential candidate must submit 7,500 signatures on a petition that otherwise complies with state law to be put on the ballot.

Georgia Green Party co-chair Bruce Dixon said, “You can’t vote for an antiwar candidate, a peace and justice candidate if state laws keep peace and justice candidates off the ballot. You can’t vote for a candidate opposing Common Core and school privatization, if those are not allowed on the ballot. Up till now, Georgia’s Democrats and Republicans have colluded to restrict the choices of voters by keeping other parties and candidates off the ballot.”

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