Back on July 20, 2016, independent presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente filed a federal lawsuit against Arizona, over the number of signatures for an independent presidential candidate. The 2016 requirement for independents for president (and all other statewide office) was 35,514 signatures. The 2016 petition requirement for newly-qualifying parties was 20,119. De La Fuente says there can’t be an important state interest in requiring almost twice as many signatures for a single candidate when the state lets an entire new party on the ballot for substantially fewer signatures.
De La Fuente is pro se in this lawsuit. Nothing of substance has happened in the case yet. De La Fuente filed an amended complaint on November 2. The case is before Magistrate Judge John Z. Boyle.
Independent candidates have won similar cases against Alabama, Florida, Maryland, and North Carolina. However, in 2010, the Ninth Circuit upheld Hawaii’s requirement that an independent presidential candidate needed 3,711 signatures even though a new party only needed 677 signatures. The Ninth Circuit seemed to feel that both requirements sounded so easy, the difference between them was not significant. The Hawaii case had been filed by Ralph Nader in 2004.
No independent presidential candidate has qualified in Arizona since 1992.
Posted on November 20, 2016 by Richard Winger