Breaking News: LP Ballot Access Petitioners Harassed by the Cops

Sorry for not blogging anything today, but we’ve got a serious problem going on in Birmingham with the Loretta Nall ballot access drive in Alabama. The police are now demanding IDs and telling our petitioners they can’t collect signatures on public property (in this case, a sidewalk on a state university campus). We are going to talk to the police right now and see if we can sort this out.

If we can’t use public property to collect the 43,000 signatures required by state law, there is no way the signatures can be collected. Alabama already has one of the worst ballot access restrictions in the country — which is the relative equivalent of a poll tax. Now that we are beginning to raise enough money to pay the poll tax, they are blocking our access to a political race with guns. It looks like we are going to need some more financial assistance to get Nall on the ballot.

This story is still developing. I’ll update as soon as I can, unless I’m arrested…

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • kaptinemo

    It would seem to me that, since so many politicians are often found using the taxpayer-funded offices they occupy in order to campaign for re-election, there’s an obvious disparity in the application of the Hatch Act here that could prove to be very embarassing for these would-be monkey-wrenchers. This is a very stupid move, indeed…

    But on the other hand, it signals that the ‘Bama Powers-That-Be are concerned enough to try to sabotage her campaign. Somebody’s worried.

  • Paul Pace

    I wonder if they have any actual statutes to back up their claims.

    What about places like the Galleria?

  • Devious David

    Nothing is going to happen. Hatch act or not. Nobody is going to be embarrased. Statutes do not matter.

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  • zach

    i didn’t know that complying with ballot access laws counted as “campaigning.” it’s facilitating free speech by letting citizens sign a petition to get a candidate on the ballot. it’s not in any way asking for votes.

  • Timothy West

    I hate to say this, but where’s all the other writers? HoT has
    a goodly crew, but I think SG is handling about 85% of the postin load. That’s how burnout gets started.

  • http://makemarijuanalegal.com Cris Ericson

    You need 100 people working 3 hours a day and getting
    10 signatures an hour for a total of 30 signatures a day
    per person.
    100 X 30 X 17 more days = 51,000 minus sigatures that
    won’t certify and you’ll have it.
    You need 100 people in front of 100 grocery stores with
    permission of the owner to be there.
    What about marijuana party advocates from surrounding states
    driving over to help out?
    What about Libertarians from surrounding states helping out?

  • http://usmjparty.com Richard Rawlings

    Grocery stores? Don’t you think you could get more sigs at malls, and flea markets, and musical events? I’m thinking sending a 100 people to a 100 grocery stores would be a waste of time, and money.

  • Stephen Gordon

    We have a lot of flea markets with 10 to 30 thousand in attendance, so we will be hitting those.

    Also, we have a few large concerts which will be good for sigs. Unfortunately, 9 Inch Nails is playing at a great sig spot, but it is a few hours too late for turn in time.

  • http://usmjparty.com Richard Rawlings

    Excellent, Stephen! And you guys did an AWESOME JOB yesterday standing off Johnny Law!!!

    Sorry about that last post, getting sleepy

  • James Hines

    Dear Stephen,
    Excellent Work on this!!!
    Please allow me to inject the benefit of my experience on this…
    Immediately, the point is this:
    FIRST – make sure that there is someone with a video camera documenting any conversations with the police.
    SECOND: The only way to overcome this BEFORE its too late to collect the signatures is for the petitioners to be prepared to BE ARRESTED. Now, if they are actually PREPARED to be arrested if they continue to collect signatures – there is a VERY good chance that the police will NOT arrest them – AT LEAST NOT FOR “COLLECTING SIGNATURES ON PUBLIC PROPERTY”! This is why it is so important that there be video cameras on hand…
    If there are no video cameras around – the police will arrest them for “refusing to comply with a reasonable request of an officer” or some similar B.S. charge designed to prevent the public from being outraged by the real intent of their actions.

    In Liberty!,

    James Hines

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  • http://www.winliberty.com John P Slevin

    James, we did all that. You are correct, police scurry from the light. When you’ve been to court as many times as I have, and on this exact kind of issue, one learns that video and other non-human testimony is far less important than actual human testimony. Judges like to hear from actual people, to look at them, listen to them, confront them with questions. That is far more important than any questionable video or audio recording. Plus, the recording itself often falls to questions of privacy violations. Take it from one who has been arrested a record number of times on just this issue, humans matter far more than tape.