Nader for President Press Release

For Immediate release
September 22, 2004

For further information: Kevin Zeese


Nader Appealing to US Supreme Court

A few minutes ago, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision removing Ralph Nader from the Oregon ballot.  The Nader Campaign is taking steps to appeal the Oregon Supreme Court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In reaction to the decision Ralph Nader said:

“This is a sad day for democracy in America.  It is evident that our independent presidential campaign has greatly stressed a corrupt exclusionary system and that the Democratic Party will stop at nothing to deny voters the opportunity to vote for our candidacy.  They would rather limit voters choices in an attempt to force them to vote for a candidate they do not believe in and do not support or stay at home in disgust. The anti-democratic approach of the Democratic Party is weakening our democracy rendered already anemic.”

The Court reversed the decision of the Marion County Circuit Court, which had found Secretary of State's Bradbury's refusal to count over 3,000 of the 18,000 voter signatures found valid and verified by Oregon County Boards of Elections the had been submitted by the Nader Campaign. The Circuit Court had concluded that the Secretary of State had applied "unwritten rules" to the Nader petitions:

“These unwritten rules, however longstanding, are not supported by the written administrative rules as set forth in the Manual, and they are inconsistent with ORS 247.005, as well as with the prior policy of the Elections Division as set forth above.  Additionally, it was obvious from the testimony of Mr. Lindback that the Secretary’s unwritten rules were not applied either uniformly or consistently in actual practice.”

The Oregon Supreme Court's decision allows the Secretary of State to use unwritten rules pertaining to the appearance of the circulator's signature on each petition to disqualify the valid and county-verified voter signatures on each petition.  The decision refers to "directives" the Secretary of State issued to the county elections offices but failed to recognize that those directives were not "rules" but instead were internal directives that were not provided to the public. Further, there was nothing in the internal directives that authorized the Secretary of State to remove the 3,000 signatures, after the counties had all already competed their work.

The Nader campaign will be arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that the Secretary of State's actions violated the rights of voters and circulators under the United States Constitution.

 Paid for by Nader for President 2004