The Removal of Carl Romanelli from Pennsylvania's 2006 U.S. Senate Ballot


  • Blyden Potts



This article is a case study of the ballot qualification challenge brought by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party against Carl Romanelli, the Green Party Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006. The study argues that the state's legal process for challenging signatures on ballot access petitions imposes a greater burden on independent and minor party candidates than the letter of the law suggests; that Pennsylvania signature challenge process is motivated more by partisan political considerations than by a genuine public interest in preventing signature fraud. The study concludes that Romanelli may have qualified for a place on the ballot had the standard applied to him been that suggested by the ballot access law without the various criteria for disqualifying signatures added by his partisan opposition, legal precendents, the court-ordered review process, and the states database of registered voters.