Archive for Friday, July 28, 2000

Nader supporters look for names

July 28, 2000

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Supporters of Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader are looking for autographs in Kansas -- at least 5,000, and all of them from registered voters.

In the final days before their petitions are due, Green Party
organizers have stepped up their efforts to get consumer advocate
Ralph Nader on the Kansas presidential ballot. Dean Myerson of the
Nader national campaign, who is orchestrating the final push
locally, picks up voter registration forms Thursday at the Douglas
County Courthouse.

In the final days before their petitions are due, Green Party organizers have stepped up their efforts to get consumer advocate Ralph Nader on the Kansas presidential ballot. Dean Myerson of the Nader national campaign, who is orchestrating the final push locally, picks up voter registration forms Thursday at the Douglas County Courthouse.

And they need to get them by Monday.

The signatures are being sought by petition-toting supporters so that Nader can earn a spot on the November general election ballot in the state.

Dean Myerson, 41, an organizer for the Green Party's Ralph Nader presidential campaign, is in Lawrence this week assisting with the last-minute efforts.

He is optimistic the required 5,000 signatures will be obtained. To be on the safe side, the goal is to turn in 8,000 names to the Kansas Secretary of State's Office. It's common, according to Myerson, to find some signatures from people who are not registered.

Collecting petitions isn't easy. Laws vary from state to state.

"I think 5,000 signatures is fair, but Kansas makes it difficult because you have to live in the county where you work the petitions," he said. "I don't live here, so I can't handle the petitions. I can hang around while others are doing that. It's difficult because you can't bring people from other areas to help."

Petition workers sometimes face restrictions about where they can collect signatures. One petition worker was told not to work at the Mission post office, Myerson said.

"You can be run off of private property, and a lot of malls are on private property," he said. "Here in Lawrence, we've had a lot of success along Massachusetts. Some businesses have allowed us to come in."


Nader signature-collectors today are expected to be around or in the Kansas Union at Kansas University.This weekend they will be in the downtown area, and a petition is available for signing in Rudy's Pizzeria, 704 Mass.

Currently, Nader's name is set to appear on ballots in more than 20 states, according to Myerson.

As they're out collecting signatures, Nader supporters also are handing out voter-registration forms. It's too late to register for Tuesday's primary election, but Nader's workers are lining up voters for the general election.

"We want to increase participation," Myerson said. "This is a good town to bring the young people out."

Myerson knows Nader is a long shot in the presidential election. Still, Myerson doesn't think it impossible for Nader to be elected president.

"I think he can win," he said. "I'm not saying he will win. If he can get in the debates, then I think the sky is the limit."

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