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Nader on the Oregon ballot

AP reports: Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader's name should appear on Oregon's ballot this fall, a Marion County Circuit Court judge ruled Thursday, overturning a decision by the state's Democratic secretary of state.

Nader supporters had turned in more than 18,000 signatures, but Secretary of State Bill Bradbury last week invalidated several thousand because of irregularities on petition sheets. That left Nader 218 signatures short of the 15,306 needed to put him on the Nov. 2 ballot, prompting a lawsuit by his supporters.

Nader backers had accused Bradbury of using technicalities to keep Nader off the ballot, because Bradbury is an open supporter of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. Democrats fear Nader's candidacy could draw votes from Kerry and tip the election to President Bush.

State Elections Director John Lindback denied that state officials had applied different rules to Nader than they had to other candidates. -- Judge puts Nader on ballot (AP via kgw.com)