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Coffield v. Handel, No. 09-13277

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By FindLaw Staff on March 23, 2010 10:01 AM

Coffield v. Handel, No. 09-13277, concerned an action claiming that plaintiff was unconstitutionally denied access to the 2008 general election ballot as an independent candidate to represent Georgia's Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, on the ground that plaintiff was unable to collect a sufficient number of signatures to satisfy Georgia's requirement that an independent candidate submit a nomination petition signed by at least 5% of the total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the last election for the position the candidate seeks, and the Supreme Court had upheld that requirement.

As the court wrote:  "Appellant-Plaintiff Coffield sought access to the 2008 general election ballot as an independent candidate to represent Georgia's Fourth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. She was not on the ballot. Briefly stated, she was unable to collect a sufficient number of signatures to satisfy Georgia's requirement that an independent candidate submit a nomination petition signed by at least 5% of the total number of registered voters eligible to vote in the last election for the position the candidate seeks. GA. CODE ANN. § 21-2-170. This appeal presents one issue: whether the district court erred when it dismissed Coffield's constitutional challenge for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). We conclude it did not."

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