Nevada Green Party Files Lawsuit to Overturn April Petition Deadline for Newly-Qualifying Parties

On April 18, the Nevada Green Party filed a lawsuit against the April 11 petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. Green Party of Nevada v Miller, 3:14cv-210. The state requires a petition signed by 9,738 valid signatures. When a party qualifies, it nominates by convention, not by primary, so there seems to be no election administration-related reason to require the signatures so early in the year. The Nevada petition deadline for independent presidential candidates is in July, and requires approximately the same number of signatures.

Twice before, Nevada has had an early petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties struck down, or enjoined. In 1986 the Libertarian Party won a case against the April petition deadline, so the 1987 legislature moved the deadline to June. In 1992, the New Alliance, Natural Law, and Populist Parties won injunctive relief against the June deadline, so the legislature moved the deadline to July. However, years later, the state moved the deadline back to April again. Also, in 2011, the legislature repealed the easy method for the nominees of unqualified parties to get on the ballot. That easy method required only 250 signatures for a statewide candidate, but it was repealed after the Tea Party placed a nominee for U.S. Senate on the 2010 ballot.

The Coalition for Free & Open Elections (COFOE) contributed $1,000 toward the expenses of this lawsuit.

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