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Nader to remain on Maine ballots


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Nader to remain on Maine ballots

Court rules Nader to remain on Maine ballot

AUGUSTA - Efforts by Maine Democrats to keep independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader off the November ballot failed Tuesday after a Superior Court justice concluded party officials had failed to make their case.Kennebec County Superior Court Justice S. Kirk Studstrup ruled Dorothy Melanson, state chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, had failed to demonstrate that Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky had committed any errors of law, exercised an abuse of discretion or relied on factual material unsupported by any official record when determining Nader had met the state's ballot criteria.


In appealing Gwadosky's ruling to Superior Court, the state Democratic Party argued that one of Nader's elector's names was listed incorrectly on the circulating petitions. They also charged that Gwadosky, a Democrat elected to four consecutive terms as secretary by the Legislature, had not required the inclusion of certain legal information on the petitions and challenged his interpretation of the need for Nader and his vice-presidential candidate to file certain enrollment documents with the state.

In each instance, Studstrup upheld Gwadosky's interpretation of state election laws and concluded Nader's name should remain on the ballot as a legitimate choice for Maine voters on Nov. 2.

In a statement released later in the day, Melanson said, "While there are still serious questions regarding the methods Ralph Nader has used to get on ballots across the country, I respect the decision of Justice Studstrup here in Maine."

She added that she would "review the available options to ensure that someone seeking the presidency follows the rule of law."

Nader supporters were buoyed by the court's decision. Nancy Oden of Jonesboro said Maine Democratic leadership was following the orders of national party bosses in an effort to deplete her candidate's campaign funds.

"I expected logic and common sense to prevail in the courts," Oden said. "The Democrats knew this was just a technique to use up Nader's resources so that he can't buy all these television ads which Bush and Kerry can use to discuss the issues instead of engaging in the idiotic personality contest that we've got going on around here."

Dwayne Bickford, executive director of the Maine Republican Party, and Oden both agreed that Maine Democrats' efforts to keep Nader off the ballot could backfire. Bickford said many undecided independent voters could be turned off by the Democrats' attempts to limit their choices.

"The voters now have a choice, despite the Democrats' efforts to deprive them of that choice," Bickford said. "And I think there will be voters out there who will be angry that the Democrats tried to do that."

On Aug. 16, the Secretary of State's Office certified 4,128 voter petition signatures for Nader - 128 more than the minimum needed for ballot listing. The consumer rights activist received 5.7 percent of Maine's presidential vote in 2000 when he was listed as a Green Independent. Democrat Al Gore carried the state with 49.1 percent to Republican George W. Bush's 44 percent.

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Post Wed 29 Sep, 2004 11:24 am 
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mainah
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Joined: 09 Jun 2004
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This is really going to upset the Dem's of the State!

Post Wed 29 Sep, 2004 4:21 pm 
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Evil Homer
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Good for Ralphie. We dont want to disenfranchise our tree huggin' enviro-nazi friends now would we.
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Post Thu 30 Sep, 2004 7:20 am 
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