CCD Wins Major Case Striking Down Texas's Nomination Petition Procedures
In a huge win for Texas voters, on September 29, 2022 Federal District Judge Robert Pitman struck down Texas's nomination petition procedures as applied to independents and new or minor parties.
Judge Pitman's order in Miller v. Hughs, No. 1:19-CV-700 (W.D. Tex.), granted partial summary judgment to the plaintiffs, a group of independent voters, candidates and minor political parties and their supporters.
Judge Pitman held:
"(1) the challenged provisions, to the extent they require paper petitions, violate Plaintiffs’ fundamental rights and
(2) the challenged provisions, to the extent they require a paper petitioning process, impose unequal burdens on Plaintiffs in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
Judge Pitman therefore ordered the parties to confer in an effort to agree upon appropriate relief. His order indicates that Texas should be required to adopt electronic, web-based petitioning procedures that enable automatic validation of signatures in real time.
Such procedures will drastically reduce the burden and expense of complying with Texas's ballot access requirements because they will enable voters to sign nomination petitions from the comfort of their own homes, potentially eliminating the need for independents and new or minor parties to hire paid petition circulators.
We'll have more to say on this breaking news but for now, this decision is the first ballot access win in Texas in years and a major victory for the voters of Texas and nationwide!