Ballot deadlines unsettled

HEARD THE TRUE STORY about the guy who wanted on the presidential ballot in Mississippi?

He sends his qualifying papers by taxi to the Mississippi secretary of state’s office. The cab driver arrives at 5 p.m. on the day qualifying is to end. The office is closed. The cabbie leaves the papers on the doorstep.

The filing deadline is unmet, and the candidate’s name is left off the ballot.

The candidate sues.

A year of legal wrangling later and Brian Moore is back at square one. He’s the Socialist Party USA presidential candidate in 2008 who wanted to be on the Mississippi ballot as the Natural Law Party nominee.

U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee in Mississippi threw out Moore’s lawsuit in March.

A panel of 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans reversed Lee but abstained from reaching its own conclusion. The panel said the election dispute “is based on an interpretation of uncertain state law, which should be resolved at the state level before we consider wading into a constitutional thicket.”