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October 10, 2017

New York Law Journal

By: Jerry H. Goldfeder

As the U.S. Supreme Court grapples with the most fundamental issue facing American politics—whether “partisan gerrymandering” can be so egregiously one-sided as to be unconstitutional—New York courts routinely confront the less profound but equally far-reaching issue of ballot access. After all, decisions as to which candidates can actually appear on the ballot shape our elections, and, with the advantages that incumbents generally have, such rulings can have a lasting impact. Opponents routinely scrutinize whether a candidate has met residency and other requirements to run for office; and they also review—in great detail—a candidate’s nominating petitions (to get on the ballot) and nominating certificates (issued by party committees) for hyper-technical errors. Some of these issues are disposed of by the Board of Elections. Often, however, they wind up being adjudicated in the courts.

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