Thursday, May 11, 2006

Texas: Strayhorn request for early petition verification rejected by judge

Rules for independents needlessly cumbersome

By Glenn Krampota The Facts (Brazoria Co., TX) May 11, 2006 ....Both Strayhorn and Friedman have complained about the ridiculous regulations surrounding getting an independent’s name on the ballot, and changes need to be made. As Friedman repeatedly has pointed out, in this electronic age there has to be a much quicker way to determine if those signatures are valid.
Also, potential candidates should be able to turn in the petitions in groups of, say, 5,000 signatures at a time, rather than having to hold onto all of them to turn in at one time as currently is required. That way, the secretary of state’s office could do the work of verifying the signatures as they go along, and the potential candidates will have more of a gauge of how many are invalid and how many they still need to get....
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Judge rejects Strayhorn request on petitions

05/10/2006 Associated Press Dallas Morning News -- A federal judge on Wednesday rejected independent gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn's request that the state elections agency speed up its verification of signatures on petitions required to get her on the ballot.
Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the Texas secretary of state's plan to examine voter petitions signature by signature is "reasonable and nondiscriminatory."
Secretary of State Roger Williams said Yeakel's ruling reaffirms that his office's method of verifying signatures is fair and constitutional.
"As we have said from day one, verifying every signature is the surest way to protect the integrity of our elections and confirm the validity of a candidate's name on the ballot. With this court decision behind us, we can go about our business of verifying signatures," Williams said
Strayhorn campaign spokesman Mark Sanders said the lawsuit accomplished what the campaign had wanted because the secretary of state has now reduced the estimate on the time needed to verify signatures.
Strayhorn turned in about 230,000 registered voter signatures on Tuesday. The number was far more than the 45,540 needed to get her on the November ballot. The deadline for petitions is Thursday when independent candidate Kinky Friedman is expected to turn in his batch of signatures.
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Stockman Has Signatures to Replace DeLay

The Associated Press Wednesday, May 10, 2006 Washington Post HOUSTON -- Former Rep. Steve Stockman has collected enough voter signatures to run as an independent candidate in the race to replace former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, his spokesman said Wednesday.
Stockman, a former Republican, has collected more than the 500 signatures needed, said campaign spokesman Jason Posey, though he didn't immediately know the total amount. Stockman's campaign planned on turning in the signatures by the state's deadline Thursday to get on the November ballot. They still must be certified by the state.
DeLay, R-Sugar Land, announced last month he would resign by mid-June after being embroiled in the scandal surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff and facing a money-laundering trial in Austin.
A committee of Republican precinct chairmen will choose a new GOP candidate. Former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, who ousted Stockman after just one term in Congress, is the Democratic nominee.
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