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Nader on the Maryland ballot

The Washington Post reports: Presidential candidate Ralph Nader secured a spot on Maryland's November ballot today as the state's highest court ruled that elections officials improperly rejected hundreds of signatures on petitions filed in support of his candidacy.

The Court of Appeals ordered that 542 disputed signatures be accepted, giving the Nader campaign and his Populist Party five more signatures than were required to win a spot on the ballot. Those signatures had been rejected because they belonged to voters residing in counties other than the counties listed on the petitions they signed, a decision the Nader campaign challenged in court.

State Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone, a Democrat, said today that her office had "no vested interest" in the outcome of the case and that the ruling would not be appealed. A spokesman for the Nader campaign, Kevin Zeese, said that "the court made the right decision" and that Nader plans to campaign in Maryland on Friday.

Nader's campaign filed petitions Aug. 2 to create a Populist Party, but Lamone and local elections officials invalidated about one-third of the signatures. The rejection left Nader supporters 537 short of the 10,000 valid signatures needed to qualify a new party for the ballot. -- Court Forces Maryland to Place Nader on Ballot (washingtonpost.com)