WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Libertarian Party Files Suit In Virginia Over Ballot Access

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The Libertarian Party in Virginia is challenging a state law that allows only Virginia residents to circulate petitions to get minor party candidates on the general election ballot, according to the Associated Press.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in federal court in Richmond on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Virginia and Darryl Bonner, a Pennsylvania resident who often circulates petitions for the party's candidates in other states. The complaint charges that a restriction allowing only Virginia residents to circulate petitions violates the First Amendment right of free speech and association. 

In a similar case earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry challenged a related Virginia law that imposes a residency requirement for petition circulators in primary elections.  In that case, a judge said the requirement is probably unconstitutional, but ruled that Perry filed his lawsuit too late.

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