The Supreme Court (search) declined on Monday to consider whether Pennsylvania officials were wrong to keep Ralph Nader (search) off the presidential ballot last November.

At issue was whether more than 6,000 signatures on Nader's nomination papers were improperly deemed as invalid, leaving him short of the number required to be listed as an independent candidate.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 19 upheld a lower ruling that said the signatures were invalid because they did not come from registered voters.

Nader's appeal, filed in late October, had asked that the Supreme Court determine in his case and future elections that signatures from eligible voters, even if not registered, should be considered valid.

Nader's presence on the ballot had been challenged by a group of voters sympathetic to Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry (search). They were wary of Nader siphoning left-leaning voters from Kerry.

A Pennsylvania state court had cited thousands of fradulent signatures on the Nader petitions, including "Mickey Mouse" and "Fred Flinstone."

In the Nov. 2 election, Kerry garnered 2.9 million Pennsylvania votes to 2.8 million for President Bush (search). But the Republican incumbent earned more votes nationwide to win a second term.


The case is Nader v. Serody, 04-550.