Vermont Superior Court Gives Justice Party Two More Weeks to Obtain Signatures

Vermont is tied for having the earliest petition deadline for independent presidential candidates. Also, Vermont has very cumbersome petition-checking procedures for independent presidential candidates. They must take the petitions to each town, wait for the town clerks to check the signatures, and then collect the signatures and physically take them to the Secretary of State. Rocky Anderson and the Justice Party failed to qualify, and sued. On August 6, a Superior Court Judge in Washington County ruled that the Justice Party has two more weeks to complete the process. Here is the opinion, which says the procedures the Secretary of State has been using violate the U.S. Constitution. The judge also said that the state must accepted petitions that were collected on photocopies of blank petition forms. The state had been insisting that only forms issued by the state (and not copies made by the group) were valid.

The case is Anderson v State of Vermont, 480-6-12. It seems somewhat likely that the Constitution Party and the Green Party may also benefit from this ruling.

3 comments

  1. On Facebook Rocky Anderson posted about this VT ruling and also said there had been some important legal ruling in CA that involves Anderson’s campaign. Any word on what this could be about?

  2. Benjamin Eastwood · · Reply

    To clarify the point, the argument wasn’t about whether or not we were using photocopied blank petitions, it was about whether or not the town clerks could verify photocopied or faxed copies of the petitions. The Town clerks are NOT verifying signatures, they are certifying that the name printed on the petition appears on the voter list. That was our point, and the point the Judge ruled on. By not allowing us to fax petitions to outlying towns, or mail copies of petitions that have signers from multiple towns to town clerks, the judge agreed with our position that there is no purpose to this, and it causes an onerous and undue burden.
    I am one of the co-plaintiffs in the case, and the state point person for ballot access,and for the Justice Party. It was my email exchange with the sec. state’s office that sparked this issue. I am glad I kept it, and plan on framing it. This is a great case in point for why it is important to get stuff in writing… Even if it is Email.

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