Minority party refused spot on ballot due to questioned petition - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Minority party refused spot on ballot due to questioned petition

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A probate judge said invalid signatures severely affected a petition to allow the Constitutional Party on the November ballot. (Source: WAFF file) A probate judge said invalid signatures severely affected a petition to allow the Constitutional Party on the November ballot. (Source: WAFF file)
LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -  A third political party is asking why their candidates are not allowed on the November ballot in Lauderdale County.

The regional director of Alabama’s Constitutional Party said they submitted a total of 1,100 signatures on their petition to be added to the ballot. Only 849 valid signatures were needed.

A letter from Lauderdale County Probate Judge James Hall states only 608 of the signatures were valid according to the law. Hall said he received the petition minutes before last month’s deadline. He said he and a staff member spent three days verifying signatures.

“The Secretary of State indicated to me in an email that they could not use electronic signatures, and it had to be an original signature, not a copy,” Hall said.

Hall said they determined a number of the signatures submitted were copies, therefore dropping the total of names deemed valid significantly. He said his staff went as far as checking the backs of papers for indents to ensure the party wasn't shorted any votes.

Judge Hall then sent out a letter to the minority party informing them they did not meet minimum requirements to be placed on the November ballot.

However, members of the Constitution Party still don’t understand why the signatures didn’t count.

“We collected the signatures ourselves,” said Joshua Cassity of the Constitution Party. “We paid petitioners who are members of the national party and they went and collected the signatures. We’ve requested information on the signatures that were rejected, and (Judge Hall) has not released this information to us.”

Judge Hall said that’s not true; he said he has invited party members to meet with him to further discuss the verification process and their findings, and has yet to hear back from them.

“They always have the opportunity to file a petition with the Circuit Court, and they have made that threat a couple of times, but I haven’t seen any carry-through with that. Obviously if the Circuit Court tells me to do something different, or the Secretary of State tells me to do something different, I will,” said Hall.

Until then, Judge Hall said, according to the law, the decision stands and the minority party will not be added to the November ballot.

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