Supreme Court Won't Put Nader on Ballot in Ohio

Today the Supreme Court declined to put Ralph Nader on the ballot in Ohio.

On Friday, Nader asked the high court to review Ohio’s decision to remove him, arguing that a state law that requires people who collect signatures on candidates’ petitions be registered voters violated free speech rights.

Nader’s request for a review went to Justice John Paul Stevens, who referred the matter to the full court. The justices denied the request without comment Tuesday.

Nader Unlikely to Appear on Illinois Ballot

Following is a report from attorney Andrew B. Spiegel in Illinois:

Nader is still “in court” in Illinois in both federal and state court. In federal (re unconstitutional filing deadline, signature requirement and definition of qualified voter), the U.S. Ct App. 7th Cir denied Nader’s Petition for Rehearing with Suggestion for Rehearing In Banc on October 15th; next step is either an application to Justice JP Stevens or a Petition for Cert to U.S. S. Ct.

On the state level, on October 19th the Il S. Ct. denied Nader’s Emergency Motion for a Rule 383 Supervisory Order, which would have short circuited the appeal process if it would have been granted. This was not, however, a decision on the merits.

The appeal on the merits was denied by the 1st District Appellate Court in an 18 page opinion issued October 22, 2004. A Petition for Leave to Appeal to the Il S. Ct. would be the next step.

The only legal recourse for Nader to appear on the ballot is the Application to Justice Stevens. We are still contemplating this move.

Nader and Camejo each signed 110 Statements of Intent to run as a write-in candidate in Illinois and these were sent to each of the 110 electoral jurisdictions. Calls are being made to each one to insure receipt of the Statement and inclusion in the approved list of write-in candidates.

Ohio Ruling on Provisional Voting Is a Defeat for Ashcroft

On Saturday the 6th circuit (which contains Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee) ruled that the new federal law requiring provisional voting can be privately enforced. However, the panel also ruled that the federal law does not require provisional voting outside of the voter’s home precinct.

Provisional voting is required in federal elections throughout the U.S., because Congress included the idea in the “Help America Vote Act” of 2002. “Provisional voting” means a voter must be issued a ballot, even if he or she is not listed on the rolls. Provisional ballots are set aside and not counted on election night. They are counted days or weeks later, if elections officials determine the voter really was registered to vote. Sometimes clerical errors result in a voter not being listed in the precinct roster; provisional voting is a safeguard against a voter being disenfranchised due to such a clerical error.

The 6th circuit panel vote was 3-0. It consisted of two Republican appointees (Danny Boggs and Herman Weber) and one Clinton appointee (Ronald Gilman).

John Ashcroft’s Justice Department had intervened in the case, claiming that private individuals are not permitted to sue to enforce the Act. The Justice Department said only federal and state officials can enforce the act. The 6th circuit disagreed, and that may be the most significant result of Saturday’s ruling. Neither side plans a quick appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, although this case, or one of the parallel cases now pending in other states might eventually be heard in that Court.