ATLANTA, GA - 07/12/2016 (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) - The Constitution Party of Georgia (CPGA) collected 4,176 signatures in about eight weeks to have its candidates placed on the ballot for the Presidential election in November, but it may not be enough. Current Georgia law requires over 52,000 signatures and a recent federal ruling in a suit filed by the Green and Constitution parties reduced that to 7,500 over the standard six month petitioning period.
The number of signatures collected demonstrate a “modicum of support” required by the court to have candidates listed on the ballot. That number is also more than double the number shown by evidence as necessary to maintain “the state’s interest in avoiding ballot overcrowding and ballot confusion.” Trial evidence indicated that no more than 2000 signatures were necessary for the state’s interest. Neighboring Tennessee has averaged seven candidates per election since 2000 with only 275 signatures required. Florida has no signature requirement for third parties.
During the short weeks, CPGA petitioners encountered repeated violations of their Constitutional right to peacefully petition on state and local government property. Six times police, deputies or government officials interfered with or denied their right to petition as defined in the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions (1st Amendment and Art. I, Sec. I, Para. IX). Even with the hindrances and other mishaps, petitioners were still able to collect over 4,000 signatures.
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