Thursday, August 19, 2004

Nader Falls Short in Missouri

KTTV reports

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader's first attempt to get on Missouri's general election ballot on Nov. 2 has failed. The secretary of state's office says Nader supporters failed to get the 10,000 valid signatures they need.

The secretary of state says the group submitted 12,893 signatures last month, although the group says it submitted 14,003 signatures. At any rate, county clerks across the state could only verify 9,006 valid signatures of registered voters.

Spence Jackson, a spokesman for the secretary of state, says a court challenge is allowed within 10 days. Kevin Zeese, a spokesman for Nader's presidential campaign, says campaign officials are evaluating the possibility of an appeal. Another option is for Nader to meet the deadline of Oct. 22 to qualify as a write-in candidate in Missouri.

The New York Times has a longer piece on Nader's problems elsewhere, including Pennsylvania.

Samuel C. Stretton, a Philadelphia elections lawyer who represents Mr. Nader, said Wednesday that he was "getting nervous" because his own spot check of the signatures was showing that, just as the Democrats had charged, many were not those of registered voters.

"They've put together one of the best organized petition challenges I've ever seen," Mr. Stretton said of the Democrats. He said he would ask the court on Thursday to order a check of the signatures and that if a large percentage were not those of registered voters, he would recommend that Mr. Nader drop the case.

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