By Margaret Lyons in News on Sep 23, 2004 7:07PM
Yesterday was a solemn day in Nader-town as yet another bid to put the candidates name on a state ballot was denied. A federal appeals court denied underdog presidential candidate Ralph Nader access to the Illinois ballot in November. The court said Nader was too late and putting his name on the ballot would upset preparations for the Illinois election. While Naders name won't be on the ballot, supporters can still write-in the candidate.
Many democrats blamed Nader for Gores "loss" in the 2000 election. But Gore did win the popular vote by approximately 543,000 votes and Nader had no effect on Gores win in Illinois. In Illinois Gore beat Bush by about 569,000 votes even with 103,759 votes going to Nader.
On June 21, the deadline in Illinois for petitions, Nader gave the State Board of Elections a petition to put his name on the ballot with 32,437 signatures. Election officials disqualified 12,327 of the signatures because they belonged to people not registered to vote at the address they wrote on the petition. Supporters then submitted 7,000 more names later to bring the number past 25,000, the amount of signatures required by law. At that point election officials said the additional signatures were submitted after the due date and could not be counted.
If Nader was a "spoiler" anywhere in 2000, as Democrats claim, it was in Florida and New Hampshire. The Florida Supreme Court ruled last week that Naders name will be on the Florida ballot in November. In New Hampshire a decision is still pending.
Democrats are assembling teams of lawyers to be deployed throughout the nation should another swing-state turn into the Florida of 2000. This is more likely than not with the dead-heat the 2004 race has been so far. So if you're planning an election night party you'd better stock up on supplies. The party could last all week.