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21-2-563 False Signatures and statements in Nomination Petitions

A nomination petition is a method by which a third party or independent candidate can be placed on a ballot.  The requirements for such petitions are complicated and detailed to a degree that I will not attempt to cover here.  In OCGA 21-2-563, the legislature makes it a felony for various things to occur in the course of preparing, distributing, or returning such a petition and the process of collection of signatures, and the signing of such petitions. A person violates this statute when they knowingly and willfully:

  • Signs a nomination petition without the prescribed qualifications
  • Sets any false statement opposite a signature on a nomination petition
  • Signs more nomination petitions than permitted by law
  • Makes a false statement in an affidavit required by the elections law or required to be appended to a nomination petition
  • Signs a name not their own on a nomination petition or
  • Materially alters a nomination petition without the consent of the signers.

So, think carefully before you sign "Mickey Mouse" to a nomination petition.  

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