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  • Writer's pictureOliver Hall

Federal Court Rules That CCD's Challenge to Indiana's Ballot Access Requirements Must Proceed

On October 28, 2022, Federal District Judge James R. Sweeney, II denied Defendant Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan's motion to dismiss CCD's constitutional challenge to Indiana's ballot access statutes.

Judge Sweeney needed just four pages to reject Secretary Sullivan's arguments for dismissal. The ruling paves way for a final judgment on the merits of the Plaintiffs' claims.

CCD filed this case in March 2022 on behalf of a coalition of independent and minor party voters, candidates and political parties to challenge several statutory requirements that independents and minor parties must meet to qualify for Indiana's general election ballot -- most important, the requirement that they obtain hand-signed signatures on paper nomination petitions from voters equal in number to 2 percent of the last vote for Secretary of State.

Indiana's ballot access requirements for independents and minor parties are so restrictive that no statewide candidate has complied with them since presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan in 2000 -- a period of 23 years and counting.

The Supreme Court and lower courts, including the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals where Indiana resides, have repeatedly concluded that ballot access laws are unconstitutional if they operate to freeze the political status quo.

The case, Indiana Green Party v. Sullivan, No. 1:22-cv-00518-JRS-KMB (S.D. Ind.) is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

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