Wolf to appeal ballot-access victory for minor parties

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Wolf administration says it will appeal a federal judge’s decision to strike down provisions in Pennsylvania law that minor political parties say creates an unconstitutional barrier to their candidates seeking to get onto the ballot.

An administration spokesman said Friday the administration disagrees with aspects of U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel’s decision, but declined to offer specifics.

Stengel’s July ruling targets financial penalties that judges may impose on minor party candidates who lose a challenge to their nomination papers.

But election law lawyers disagreed over whether Stengel’s decision also strikes down Pennsylvania’s higher signature requirement for the nomination papers of minor party candidates.

Stengel wrote that the threat of the court fines associated with submitting nomination papers discourages legitimate candidates, not just who file fraudulent nomination papers and petitions.

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