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Louisiana: "I.Q." nickname removed from 7 candidates for New Orleans assessor candidates

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports: In the wake of court decisions stripping the initials "I.Q." from the ballot listings of two candidates for separate Orleans Parish assessor districts, Louisiana Secretary of State Al Ater has removed the label from the listings of five other assessor candidates on the "I Quit" ticket.

The state 4th Circuit Court of Appeal last week upheld rulings by two district judges that candidates Chase Jones and Ron Mazier could not include "I.Q." as a nickname on their listings for the April 22 election, and the state Supreme Court refused Friday to hear an appeal from that ruling.

Although state law permits the use of nicknames on the ballot, it prohibits "designations," and the courts ruled that listing "I.Q.," which Jones and Mazier admitted they had never used as a nickname before agreeing to join the "I.Q." ticket, therefore was illegal.

With no public announcement, Ater's office then stripped the term from the ballot listings of the five other candidates, although no legal challenges had been filed against them. ...

The "I Quit" ticket qualified candidates against the incumbents in all seven New Orleans assessor races, and all included "I.Q." in their names. If elected, all seven have pledged to forgo their annual salary and use the money to hire a professional appraisal firm to handle property valuations. Their ultimate goal is to consolidate the seven assessor offices into one, a move that would require state legislation and voter approval, and they have promised to step down if such legislation is approved. -- All 'I.Q.' initials taken off ballots

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