Southeast Texas Record

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Presidential candidate says Texas' petition signature law detrimental to campaign

By John Suayan | May 23, 2016

General court 06

A Florida woman who is running for President of the United States alleges that the State of Texas’ law requiring an independent candidate to obtain between 79,939 signatures of registered voters who did not vote in the March 1, 2016 presidential primary is preventing her from selecting a running mate, a lawsuit filed against Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos in Houston federal court says.

In recent court documents filed May 10, Souraya Faas asserts that the state’s restrictions on independent presidential candidacy and ballot access violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

“Souraya Faas seeks the presidency of the United States and to give the voters a choice to vote for her as an independent candidate in Texas,” the suit says.

Faas states that she registered with the Federal Election Commission last year and meets all requirements to serve as president beginning on Jan. 20, 2017, claiming “she has generated enthusiasm among independents, Democrats and Republicans” while campaigning in several states and on social media.

“Since she announced her candidacy, the presidential campaigns within the major political parties have devolved into unprecedented rancor,” the suit says.

“The front-runners for the major party nominations are viewed as unpopular and undesirable by a not insignificant number of party partisans and independent voters. In one of the parties, the last two Presidents who were members of that party have declined to support the presumptive nominee of that party. Significant percentages of registered voters wish for an alternative to the apparent future nominees of the major political parties. It is a fact of American history that candidates independent of the major parties, play a critical part in the voter’s exercise of their rights to vote, speak and associate. It is clear, that this election year, their role may

be paramount.”

The Republicans and the Democrats, per the original petition, are not required to abide by the state’s petition signature rule, and registered voters are barred “from signing a ballot access petition on behalf of an independent presidential candidate.”

“These requirements are neither reasonable nor necessary,” the suit says.

“The resources required to obtain the number of qualified signatures required by state law in the time required are prohibitive for the plaintiff and other independent presidential candidates.”

Consequently, the complainant requests the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas “declare the provisions of Texas election that contravene the freedoms of speech and association and deny equal protection for independent presidential candidates, unconstitutional.”

Attorney Kenneth Royce Barrett of the law firm KRB Law in Houston is representing Faas.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:16-CV-1299

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