Libertarian candidate sues state for ballot access

A Libertarian candidate has sued after he was left off the ballot to challenge State Rep. Scot Turner, R-Holly Spings, due to a notary error.

Jeff Amason filed a lawsuit last week to gain a spot on the ballot. He also announced plans to file Tuesday for an emergency motion in Fulton County Superior Court, to make sure the case is addressed before state law requires the ballot to be printed on Aug. 29.

The Georgia Engineering Foundation president had collected 1,800 valid petition signatures, enough to be placed on the ballot.

However, Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office disqualified the majority of those signatures.

That’s because Amason’s wife served as a notary and distributor of many of the petition’s pages, Kemp said, which she also signed. That would seemingly go against a Georgia law which requires that “no notary public may sign the petition as an elector or serve as a circulator of any petition which he or she notarized.”

Amason disagrees with Kemp’s reading of the law, saying that a conflicting notary statute made the signatures valid.

He also said the interpretation was made to restrict third-party candidates.

“If you just look at who is benefitting from these very difficult third-party rules, it’s the two established parties,” Amason said. “It is a significant hurdle to get over.”

The Libertarian Party of Georgia came out with a statement in support of its candidate Monday.

“Restrictive ballot access laws limit voter choice and lead to the corruption of the political system,” said Doug Craig, the Libertarian Party of Georgia’s chairman. “Voters deserve a choice at the ballot box.”

Turner would run unopposed in November’s general election if Amason’s efforts are unsuccessful.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.