On December 16, the ACLU Voting Rights office filed a lawsuit in federal court against three Nebraska ballot access restrictions: (1) a law passed in 2007 that requires statewide independent candidate petitions (for office other than president) to include at least 50 signatures from each of 31 counties; (2) a law passed in 2008 that makes it illegal for out-of-state circulators to work in the state; (3) an older law that requires petitions that are circulated by a paid circulator to have printed in 16-point type, and in red, “This petition is circulated by a paid circulator.”
The case is Citizens in Charge v Gale, 4:09-cv-3255. The ACLU now has cases pending in Arkansas, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and South Carolina, against various ballot access laws that injure minor parties or independent candidates or both. Also the ACLU is helping with a North Carolina ballot access case, and it is handling the Connecticut case on discriminatory public funding. The new Nebraska case is filed on behalf of Donald Sluti, who wants to be an independent candidate for Secretary of State in 2010. The case is also filed on behalf of Citizens in Charge, which has members in Nebraska and nationwide who are professional circulators.