On May 29, the American Civil Liberties Union filed paperwork with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, in Green Party of Georgia v Kemp. This paperwork shows that Laughlin McDonald, who has been a leader in voting rights fights since 1972, will be the lead attorney for the Green Party and the Constitution Party in this case.
McDonald has written several books, including “A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Disenfranchisement in Georgia” and “American Indians and the Fight for Equal Voting Rights.” He became Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project in 1972, and today he is the Director Emeritus and special counsel to the Voting Rights Project.
The ACLU has represented minor parties and independent candidates in ballot access litigation in many states, but this is the first time the ACLU has joined that fight in Georgia. The case challenges the Georgia procedures for getting on the ballot for President, for minor parties and independents. Those procedures are so restrictive, Georgia is one of only two states in which no group has succeeded in gathering the needed signtures since 2000. Georgia and Indiana are the only states for which that statement is true. Georgia is one of only four states in which Ralph Nader never appeared on the ballot, and one of only three states in which neither the Natural Law Party nor the Constitution Party ever placed its presidential nominee on the ballot. Georgia has had fewer presidential candidates on its general election ballot in the last 50 years than any other state.