Nader off AZ ballot

Published July 2, 2004 6:09PM (EDT)

Ralph Nader's fight to get onto the Arizona ballot came to an abrupt halt today when a Maricopa County judge ordered him off the ballot after the campaign decided not to challenge the Democrat-sponsored lawsuit against it. "Campaign aide Mike Spreadbury, the Maricopa County coordinator, said it was apparent that fighting the lawsuit would be fruitless and too expensive."

"Nader needed 14,694 voter signatures to qualify for the ballot and turned in 21,185 on June 9. Signature checks against county voter registration rolls erased 5,122, and an attorney for the challenger said all the rest would have been stricken for other reasons."

"Attorney Thomas Irvine said reasons for striking the others included the circulation of petitions by felons, petitions circulated in the wrong counties, petitions without proper header and possible forgery."

"In addition, the Democrats said Nader's entire nominating package was invalid because of problems with the designation of a running mate and certifications by proposed presidential electors."

In Oregon, the Nader campaign is being a tad more careful. Nader staffers are checking the 1,150 signatures they got at a Republican-backed signature drive two weekends ago. Nader needs 1,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. But considering the shenanigans perpetrated in Oregon on behalf of the Nader campaign, Nader will be lucky if fewer than 150 signatures turn out to be invalid.

By Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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