On March 20, U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley refused to enjoin a new Ohio election law that says independent candidate petitions must be completed within one year of the starting date. Duncan v Husted, southern district, 2:13cv1157. The decision says that the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken approvingly of ballot access schemes in which the petitioning period was even shorter than one year.
The only state interest the order mentions is that the state will do a better job of checking petitions if the petitioning period is limited to one year (the candidate chooses the one-year period). It says, “Defendant argues that the State has a strong interest in creating a fair and robust process for validating the signatures for every independent candiate, which can take a considerable amount of time and often results in the invalidation of many petition signatures. Thus the State alleges that the shorter, one-year time frame imposed by the amended statutes would make invalidation less likely.”