Last month, the Green Party and the Constitution Party filed a lawsuit against Georgia’s signature requirement to get on the ballot for President. The state’s answer was due on June 14, but the state has requested an extension of one week. Plaintiffs agreed not to oppose that request. The state says it will not oppose the motion of the political parties to expedite the case. The case is Green Party of Georgia v Kemp, 1:12-cv-1822.
Georgia requires slightly more than 50,000 signatures for independent or newly-qualifying ballot access for President. The signatures are due in July. No group has qualified to place a presidential candidate on the ballot by either type of petition, in over ten years. The only parties that don’t need to petition for President are the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian Parties. Although Americans Elect collected signatures in Georgia, it didn’t submit them and does not plan to submit them.
Georgia is in the 11th circuit. In 1985, the 11th circuit ruled that states must provide easier ballot access for President than for other office. That conclusion, in a case called Bergland v Harris, was based in the U.S. Supreme Court 1983 decision that also said states must be more lenient for President than for other office. The most difficult petition requirement that the U.S. Supreme Court has ever upheld concerning presidential ballot access was the Texas requirement, which was and continues to be a petition of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote. If Georgia had a petition requirement for president of 1% of the last gubernatorial vote, the state’s requirement this year would be 25,762 signatures.