On July 31, at 9 a.m., a Vermont Superior Court in Montpelier will hear Anderson v State of Vermont, 480-6-12. This is the case filed by the Justice Party over Vermont’s awkward procedures for submitting petitions for independent and minor party candidates. For those kind of petitions, Vermont requires the petitioning groups to turn in signatures to each town clerk, then collect the signatures and physically take them to the Secretary of State’s office. Sometimes the town clerks don’t check the petitions very quickly. Rocky Anderson submitted the needed 1,000 valid signatures by the deadline but he is still not on the ballot because the town clerks took too long to check the signatures.
By contrast, primary candidates running for statewide office can submit their petitions directly to the Secretary of State. Federal law requires all state election offices to maintain a statewide list of the registered voters.