Big Search: Signatures Examined on Green Party Nomination Papers

HARRISBURG – More than 69,000 signatures will be examined in the coming days to determine whether they are valid and should be considered on nomination papers for three Green Party candidates who are running for governor, lieutenant governor and U.S. Senator.

The story is one that played out about two years ago when Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo ran for president and vice president of the United States.

Then, the Court issued a 907-page opinion that concluded that Nader did not have enough valid signatures on his nomination papers. In real numbers, the Court found that of the 51,273 signatures that were reviewed, 18,818 were valid, much less than the 25,697 signatures needed by the Election Code to be put on the ballot.

That decision came, according to information in the latest signature challenge memorandum, after “Herculean efforts.”

At issue now, though, are the nomination papers of Marakay Rogers, candidate for governor; Christina Valente, candidate for lieutenant governor; and Carl J. Romanelli, candidate for U.S. Senate.

By Pennsylvania law, the number of qualified signers on the nomination papers must be equal to 2 percent of the largest entire vote cast for any elected candidate in Pennsylvania at the last preceding election involving statewide candidates.

For the Nader matter, that number was 25,697. For the present matter, though, the number is much higher — 67,070 to be exact.

The reason the figure is so much higher is because in the 2004 general election, Bob Casey Jr., won the office of state treasurer with a total of 3,353,489 votes.

The petitions submitted by the Green Party contain 94,544 signatures, but 69,642 of the names are being challenged.

That means at least 42,168 signatures would need to be proven valid because of the number of names not being challenged.

To check the names, people from both sides of the issue (the Green Party and the three objectors — William R. Caroselli, Fred R. Levin, Daniel J. Anders and Peter D. Winebrake) began meeting at 8:30 a.m. Monday to check the questioned names. They will use SURE, the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors, to check the 69,000-plus names every day, Monday through Friday, until 5 p.m.

The times can be extended if needed, and Saturdays could be used in the search as well.

Both sides will then meet with the Court Tuesday for a status conference on the issue.

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