Anderson still hurdling ballot obstacles
Efforts to get independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson's name on November ballots are continuing to gain momentum. Boosters of the Illinois congressman's White House aspirations came through Aug. 4 nomination paper filing deadlines with flying colors in California and Missouri.
Backers of the Illinois congressman are particularly elated over the big success of the petition drive in California, the home state of Ronald Reagan. More than three times the required 101,374 signatures were gathered in the Golden State, where 45 Electoral College votes -- the biggest block in the nation -- are at stake in November.
Anderson petitions have now been filed in 28 states with more filings expected later this week in Alaska, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia.
Thus far, however, the independent candidate for president has been cleared for the ballot in only 10 states -- Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.
And, in Ohio, this status is being threatened by the Democratic National Committee, which is seeking to overturn a recent federal district court ruling that cleared the way for state certification of Anderson nomination paper signatures.
The Anderson drive has also been temporarily thwarted in four states -- Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, and North Carolina. In the first three states, certification of signatures has been denied on the grounds that the deadline for their submission had passed before Mr. Anderson launched his candidacy as an independent.
In North Carolina the state board of elections last week disqualified the independent candidate on the grounds that he had run as a Republican candidate in the state's presidential primary last spring. All four rulings are being challenged in the courts by Anderson strategists.
Nomination papers have now been filed in all but four of the nation's 20 most populous states. However, in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee -- petition gathering drives are about to be launched or are already under way.