Judge Boots Nader Off Arkansas Ballot

A circuit judge ordered third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader's (search) name taken off the Arkansas ballot Monday.

Circuit Judge Timothy Fox concluded that a political group attempting to certify Nader's name for the ballot did not meet state criteria to get a candidate on the ballot.

He ordered Secretary of State Charlie Daniels to immediately recall the list of candidates so that Nader and running mate Peter Camejo no longer appear.

Fox ruled that supporters of the former Green Party (search) presidential candidate didn't follow Arkansas' rules for nominating Nader as the candidate of their political group — the Populist Party of Arkansas. Official forms from the Secretary of State did not have a space for identifying the party name.

Nader's national campaign said it would appeal. Spokesman Kevin Zeese said today that in the end, Nader expects to make the Arkansas ballot.

Daniels certified more than Twelve-hundred signatures for Nader, well above the One thousand required to qualify. But the Democrats don't want Nader to take votes away from John Kerry and have filed suits in eight states and successfully knocked Nader off in five of them.

The Democratic Party claimed that certain signatures didn't match up with names and addresses in the official Secretary of State database and that Nader's supporters didn't properly disclose their affiliation with the Populist Party when gathering the signatures.

Nader's lawyers argued that they followed the forms that were provided to them.

Fox's decision comes despite comments he made last week that were sympathetic with the position of Nader supporters.

Fox said it was — quote — "a shame" that people outside the mainstream political system have such a difficult time fulfilling their need to express their political voices.