The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday filed another court brief in behalf of the Green Party's right to have Jim Lendall on the November general election ballot as its gubernatorial nominee.
The secretary of state's office says that Lendall didn't turn in the 24,171 signatures required for third-party candidates. The Green Party and the ACLU said that the third-party threshold is unfair, because independent candidates only need to submit 10,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot.
[The secretary of state's office] argued in a brief filed Aug. 4 that requiring a larger number of signatures to get a third party on Arkansas election ballots than are required for independent candidates makes sense when you consider the differences between the two situations.
“Parties are affiliations of like-minded individuals who wish to run for a panoply of offices in a multitude of elections,” Brooks wrote. “Independent candidates are just that: Independent individuals seeking a single office in a single election.”
That’s not the point, the ACLU brief says.
“The question here is not whether different signature requirements for political parties and independent candidates are rational,” the filing says. “The question is whether Arkansas’ 3 percent signature requirement is narrowly drawn to serve a compelling state interest.”
According to the ACLU brief, “the state simply may not burden (plaintiffs’) fundamental rights without sufficient justification.”