New Mexico Independent Challenges Ballot Access

Jul 7, 2014

A Public Education Commission member has filed a lawsuit challenging New Mexico's requirements for independent candidates to secure a place on the ballot.

Tyson Parker of Corrales brought the lawsuit in federal district court last week, contending the state's election laws discriminate against independent candidates by requiring an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions.

The signature requirement is about three times greater than for minor party candidates, according to the lawsuit.

Parker was appointed to the commission last year by Gov. Susana Martinez.

He didn't qualify as a candidate for the general election because he submitted 1,379 petition signatures, which was short of the 2,196 required by law.

The lawsuit contends the filing requirement is unconstitutional. Parker is asking the court to place him on the ballot.

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