Supreme Court upholds putting Nader on ballot
September 15, 2004
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Monday that Ralph Nader’s name should stay on the November ballot.
The court unanimously upheld Carson District Judge Bill Maddox, who ruled Sept. 1 that the Secretary of State should count more than 3,000 signatures even though they were verified by someone listing a hotel or motel room as an address – not a permanent legal residence.
Maddox also rejected arguments by Democrats saying that the entire signature-gathering process was tainted by fraud and misrepresentation.
There were also several other challenges involving small numbers of specific signatures but the major challenge focused on the signatures verified by affidavits of circulators who listed hotels and other temporary lodging as their residence.
Maddox rejected arguments saying circulators must be required to give their permanent legal address, pointing out that the Nevada law on the subject isn’t specific on the subject. He upheld the Secretary of State’s decision ruling those signatures valid and ordering Nader’s name put on the November ballot in Nevada.
The high court agreed.
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“The regulation’s term ‘reside’ could mean actual residence or legal domicile or could indicate that the circulator can choose which address to provide,” the high court ruled. “Thus the language is ambiguous.”
The court ruled that Nevada’s election laws “must be liberally construed to effectuate the will of the electors.”
“Here, a significant number of registered voters signed the petition to place Ralph Nader on the November ballot and their interest in having the choice to vote for him should not be negated,” the order states.
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