Iowa Supreme Court to Hear Primary Ballot Access Case

On March 29, the Iowa Supreme Court agreed to hear Narcisse v Iowa Secretary of State, 14-0512. The issue is whether Jonathan Narcisse should be on the June 3 Democratic primary ballot as a candidate for Governor. If he does not get on that ballot, there will be only one candidate listed for Governor for Democrats.

Jonathan Narcisse needed 4,113 signatures, by March 14. He submitted 383 petition sheets. However, on 35 of his sheets, the blank line that asks what the candidate is running for was not filled in. As a result, he is eleven signatures short of qualifying. A lower state court refused to put him on the ballot. The three individuals who circulated the petitions with the missing information testified in court that they always explained to potential signers what Narcisse is running for. The lower court said evidence of that type cannot be considered.

In the Iowa Supreme Court, the briefs from both sides are due on March 31 at noon, and it is possible the court will issue an opinion within the next few days. The state would prefer to start printing primary ballots on March 31 but will probably wait a few days.

Narcisse points out that in 2012, a Democratic candidate for State Senator submitted some petition sheets that omitted his county of residence, and he was still permitted to be on the primary ballot.

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