So long as those ballots don’t have Ralph Nader’s name on them.
In a tactical victory for John Kerry, a Leon County circuit judge issued an emergency order Wednesday night knocking Ralph Nader off Florida’s ballot.
…Less than 11 hours before Secretary of State Glenda Hood is supposed to certify the ballots for 67 counties – which signals elections supervisors to mail thousands of ballots to Floridians overseas, including troops in Iraq – [Judge Kevin] Davey ruled that the Reform Party is no longer a real political party. Therefore, he held that Nader’s certification as the Reform candidate did not meet Florida laws, which require a presidential candidate to get nearly 100,000 voter signatures or be nominated by a national convention.
“I don’t want to disenfranchise anybody, especially those folks who are defending us overseas,” Davey said, stretching and stifling a yawn after a seven-hour hearing in which attorneys for Democratic Party Chairman Scott Maddox and two Reform Party members squared off against lawyers for Hood and the Reform Party of Florida.
Nader drew about 92,000 votes in Florida four years ago. Democratic Party leaders, who unsuccessfully beseeched him not to run this year, have said that many of those voters would have supported Al Gore if Nader wasn’t on the ballot.Actually the ruling (if upheld) opens the door to denying ballot access to a whole laundry list of smaller parties.