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.