Insider’s note: This item was ripped from the Morning Jolt.
Some Democrats quietly cheered the news that Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein didn’t get enough verified signatures to appear on Georgia’s ballot.
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office said Tuesday said local election officials were only able to verify 5,925 signatures on the third-party campaign’s petition. It needed to reach 7,500 signatures.
Although the Green Party plans to appeal, it will also eat up valuable resources that could be spent building a network in Georgia and appealing to the party’s left-leaning voters.
Stein is polling at just a few percentage points in surveys across the nation, and the AJC poll shows her at just 2 points of support in Georgia – though her backing doubles among younger voters, aged 18-39, to 4 percent.
With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in a tight race, Democrats are hoping to wrangle every vote they can from like-minded voters. And if Clinton pulls out a razor-thin victory in Georgia, the Green Party’s ballot rejection could be a key factor.
Stein and her running mate could still appear on Georgia’s ballot, but it will take a legal battle. Hugh Esco, the co-chair of the Georgia Green Party, said the party is considering several different strategies to challenge the decision. It said it secured about 10,000 signatures.
“Ultimately, in spite of the technical deficiencies used to justify this ruling, the Georgia Green Party far surpassed its burden to demonstrate a ‘modicum of support’ as required by the courts,” he said. “The voters of Georgia have a constitutional right to see their candidates of choice on the printed ballot. We trust the courts will agree.”
Republican operative Todd Rehm has some advice for the party in his morning roundup:
“We’ve written several times about my Rule of Thumb for Ballot Signatures, which is to get twice as many signatures as you need. If we accept the Green Party’s estimate of 10,000 signatures, it appears that roughly 59% were found to be valid. If they’d collected twice as many signatures as they needed and validated at the same rate, Jill Stein would be on the ballot.”