Maryland Judge Puts Third Parties Back On Ballot

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A judge has ruled the Libertarian and Green political parties have enough signatures from registered voters to be recognized on Maryland ballots.

Retired Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Eugene Lerner made the ruling Tuesday.

The parties’ candidates for governor failed to get 1 percent of the vote last November. That meant each party needed 10,000 signatures from registered voters to be recognized.

In March, the Maryland State Board of Elections found the parties were thousands of signatures short after nearly 9,000 for each party were invalidated. The parties sued the board, saying rules used to validate signatures were overly restrictive.

Lerner ruled Tuesday that signatures can’t be invalidated for “name-related defects if the entry contains address or birthdate information” that corroborates the signer’s identity.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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