The Georgia Secretary of State’s office announced earlier this week that Green Party candidate Jill Stein did not have enough signatures to appear on Georgia’s presidential ballot in November. Now, the Green Party says they will consider litigation.
The potential lawsuit stems from a March 2016 decision by a federal district judge that ruled Georgia ballot access laws for presidential candidates is unconstitutional. Until further changes could be made, Judge Richard Story set the threshold of signatures for candidates who were not Republicans or Democrats to 7,500.
Jill Stein filed paperwork with the Secretary of State offering 1,672 pages of signatures from Georgia voters. But the Georgia SOS returned with a letter reading, “Upon review . . . I hereby inform you that your total number of valid signatures submitted is 5,925, and . . . did not meet the requirement . . . Dr. Jill Stein will not appear on the ballot in the General Election”.
In a prepared statement, a spokesperson for the Green Party said,
“Our experience with this year’s petition drive illustrates many of issues we raised in our pleadings and testimony before Judge Story,” said Hugh Esco, cochair of the Georgia Green Party. “We are exploring multiple strategies for challenging this determination. Ultimately, in spite of the technical deficiencies used to justify this ruling, the Georgia Green Party far surpassed its burden to demonstrate a ‘modicum of support’ as required by the Courts; and the voters of Georgia have a constitutional right to see their candidates of choice on the printed ballot. We trust the Courts will agree.”
Ajamu Baraka was also denied access to Georgia’s ballot.
The hope is that the Georgia General Assembly will address the ruling in their 2017 legislative session.