February 27, 2014 4th Circuit published opinion

Pisano v Strach

Pisano sued Strach and the other members of the North Carolina Board of elections seeking an injunction against the filing deadline for petitions by new political parties to appear to the ballot. The district court granted summary judgment to Strach. The panel affirmed. It first held that the district court properly denied further discovery as the evidence sought by Pisano was either already available or within his control and Pisano, in any event, did not file any additional affidavits. The panel held the deadline did not impose a severe burden on Pisano as it was after the date of the North Carolina presidential primary, there was a period of over 3 years to collect signatures and there were no party affiliation or prior signature on another petition restrictions. The panel finally held the deadline served important state interests because the need for orderly ballot access including the need for time to verify signatures is sufficient to overcome the modest burden on Pisano.

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