Pennsylvania: Libertarian Gary Johnson Wins First Ballot Fight; Corrupt GOP to AppealSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Fri, 09/14/2012 - 15:57
A Pa. Court ruled that Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has enough petition signatures to appear on the ballot in Pennsylvania, but Republicans are expected to appeal the decision by the end of the day Friday.
Commonwealth Court judges sided with Johnson by a margin of 2-1 on Thursday, according to the Associated Press. They ruled that about 9,000 of the candidate’s petition signatures are valid despite the fact that voters’ home addresses from the petitions did not match the addresses listed in the voting file.
Two people with knowledge of the petition challenge – which has been coordinated with the Pa. Republican Party – said an appeal was in the process of being filed Friday afternoon. Both said the move is typical in such disputes; state law gives litigants a presumptive right to appeal any Commonwealth Court decision.
Johnson served as Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, and briefly sought the Republican nomination for President this year. A fiscal conservative, he supports the decriminalization of marijuana. He is scheduled to attend a rally at West Chester University in suburban Philadelphia on Monday, kicking off a national tour of college campuses.
Pennsylvania’s ballot access rules for 3rd party and independent candidates are among the strictest in the nation. Johnson needed 20,601 signatures for his name to appear on the ballot (his campaign turned in 49,000). Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney needed only 2,000 each.