Press Releases & Advisories
22 June 2011
Wiltshire & Grannis Wins Ballot Access for Maryland Libertarians and Greens
ANNAPOLIS, MD -- The Maryland Libertarian and Green parties once again won the right to be recognized as ballot-eligible political parties, thanks to a ruling from the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. The court's ruling clears the way for both parties to nominate candidates by July 1 for Baltimore's upcoming municipal elections.
The case, Libertarian Party of Maryland v. Maryland State Board of Elections, challenged the State Board's invalidation of the thousands of signatures submitted in support of the two parties' recertification petitions last March.
State law required the Libertarian and Green parties to renew their ballot-eligible status this year by submitting petitions signed by at least 10,000 registered Maryland voters. The State Board of Elections found that over 12,000 registered voters signed the Libertarian Party's petition, and that almost 13,000 registered voters signed the Green Party's petition. Nonetheless, the State Board rejected both petitions, citing technical deficiencies in the way voters printed their names.
At the June 21 hearing, Judge Eugene M. Lerner ruled that the State's invalidation of those thousands of signatures "was not correct." Judge Lerner stated that the overriding purpose of the statutory framework for petition signature validation was to identify each signer and make sure the signer is a registered voter. Adopting the "sufficient cumulative information" standard advanced by the plaintiffs, Judge Lerner found that each party enjoyed the support of more than 10,000 registered voters and should have been recertified for another four-year election cycle. The court also invalidated a State Board policy that prevented voters from correcting previously invalidated signature attempts.
Wiltshire & Grannis LLP is a boutique law firm with four nationally recognized practices: one of the premier communications and information technology practices in the country, a litigation practice with deep experience in both criminal and commercial matters, an appellate practice led by a lawyer who has argued 28 cases in the Supreme Court, and an active international trade and national security practice. For further information, contact Mark Grannis at 202-730-1313.