A Georgia state court will hear De La Fuente v Kemp, Fulton County Superior Court 2016-cv-279793, on Monday, September 26. The issue is the validity of De La Fuente’s independent presidential petition. He submitted 14,500 signatures, and 7,500 were needed. The state said only 2,964 of his signatures are valid.
De La Fuente says that the various Georgia counties used inconsistent methods to validate signatures. He says Fulton County, which contains Atlanta and where the bulk of his signatures were gathered, refused to validate signatures of voters who are on the inactive list. Georgia law is clear that voters on the inactive list may sign. De La Fuente also says that when the signature was difficult to read, but the signer’s address and date of birth were clear, the county refused to use the address and date of birth information to find the signature. Because the list of registered voters is computerized, this would have been easy for the county to do.
The Secretary of State says the petition validity doesn’t matter, because De La Fuente missed the July 1 deadline for submitting his presidential elector candidates. A federal court had last month refused to set aside that Georgia law, but the federal judge was influenced by the fact that the state had told him De La Fuente didn’t have enough valid signatures anyway. That case is now in the Eleventh Circuit, 16-15880. Obviously if De La Fuente can show that he does have enough valid signatures, the federal court would then take his deadline challenge seriously.
Author: Richard Winger