Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Nader sues to be included on Ohio ballot


Claim: Backlogs may include many voters

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader sued on Monday to have his name placed on the November ballot in Ohio, saying voter registration backlogs at a number of county elections boards may have led to the improper elimination of his campaign petitions.

ELECTION 2004
election 2004
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Nader sues to be included on Ohio ballot
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Election 2004 section

The Nader campaign's lawsuit against Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell seeks to force Blackwell to order county boards to update their voter registration records, then review the petitions submitted by Nader.

Blackwell ruled last month that Nader failed to collect the 5,000 signatures needed to appear on the ballot after forged signatures and petitions circulated by non-Ohioans left Nader short.

Monday's lawsuit focuses on 8,009 signatures rejected by county elections boards. Some of those signatures were rejected because they didn't belong to registered voters, others because they were on petitions thrown out altogether because they were circulated by non-Ohioans, the lawsuit said.

The Nader campaign argues that many of these signatures belong to registered voters whose names weren't reflected in county records because of backlogs.

For example, Lucas County showed a backlog of about 12,000 voter registration applications on Sept. 2, the day the county returned Nader petitions to Blackwell's office after reviewing them, according to documents filed as part of the lawsuit.

Democrats, fearful that Nader could cost them votes if his name is on the ballot, presented evidence that petition collectors registered at fraudulent addresses or places they didn't live.

The Nader campaign argues the review of voter registration applications could locate the valid registration of those collectors and restore the names on the petitions, said Nader attorney Michael Cassidy.

Blackwell acted in compliance with Ohio law and will defend his ruling, spokesman Carlo LoParo said. Attorney General Jim Petro hadn't seen the lawsuit but planned to review it, said spokeswoman Kim Norris.




ELECTION 2004
Campaigns war over Cleveland
Voter signups record in Ohio
Ohio court race attracts big money
Kerry slams Bush on stem-cell issue
Blackwell dismissive after Jackson blasts voting rule
Nader sues to be included on Ohio ballot
Bush enacts more tax cuts as he campaigns
Cheney-Edwards debate takes on increased importance
Election 2004 page

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