Nader Wins Place on Arkansas Ballot

The Arkansas Supreme Court (search) granted independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader (search) a place on Arkansas' ballot for the Nov. 2 general election.

The court ruling overturned a circuit court judge's order to election officials that would have kept Nader's name off the ballot.

Circuit Judge Timothy Fox, ruling in a lawsuit brought by the state Democratic Party, said the signatories who petitioned for Nader name to be on the ballot had not declared him as their candidate.

Nader appealed Fox's ruling.

In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, the state Commonwealth Court delayed a decision on Nader's request to place his name on that state's ballot to provide time to examine petition signatures. G. Ronald Darlington, the court's executive administrator, said the petition was the largest ever submitted in a presidential race in the state, but 35,000 of the 52,000 signatures have been contested.

The state Supreme Court said the names of Nader and vice presidential candidate Peter Miguel Camejo (search) should be on the ballots as Populist Party of Arkansas candidates. The high court agreed with the Populist Party that Fox's interpretation of state law was unconstitutional.

The high court said state law does not stipulate that an electorate name a candidate for president or vice president. The law requires only that the signers of the petition state their desires that the named candidates appear on the ballot, the court ruling said.

"We're glad the Supreme Court respected the right of voters to have choices," said Kevin Zeese, a Nader spokesman.

Ron Oliver, chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, said he was disappointed but doubted that Nader's name on the ballot would make a difference in the state's presidential election.

"It's a vote for Bush, but I don't think enough people are going to do it to have any real affect," Oliver said.