Backers of independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader have submitted enough petition signatures to state election officials to get Nader’s name placed on the Iowa ballot. David Larson of Waterloo is the Nader supporter who coordinated the effort. Larson says “antiwar Iowans” don’t have a voice in national politics unless Nader’s name is on the ballot because President Bush and John Kerry — in Larson’s words — “support more war.” Larson, a freelance writer who’s taken a leave of absence as the media coordinator for the Iowa Green Party, says he knows nothing about the controversial drive to collect petition signatures from republicans attending Bush campaign events in Iowa the past few weeks. Larson says “there have been no dirty tricks” and all of the petition signatures come from Nader supporters. Larson even suggested the allegations are baseless and “have never been substantiated,” but Radio Iowa has a recording of a woman at a Bush campaign event soliciting petition signatures to put Nader’s name on the ballot to “take votes away from Kerry and help Bush.” Larson submitted just over three-thousand signatures, about twice as many as required by law to get a candidate’s name on the Iowa ballot. Larson says Iowans from 76 different counties signed the petitions. Democrats say they’ll review all the petition signatures to ensure they’re valid, and cite “irregularities” in other states where Nader’s tried to get on the November ballot.
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