Iowans will be able to vote for Ralph Nader for president this November. A three-member panel of state officials decided unanimously this morning that Nader’s backers had just under 16-hundred valid signatures on petitions, so Nader’s name could be placed on the ballot. Secretary of State Chet Culver led the panel that began its review yesterday afternoon. Culver says the three-member board and the staff in the state election’s office worked straight through the last 16 hours to come to a decision. Culver says the decision was unanimous that Nader had qualified for the ballot. Culver says the bottom line was that Nader met the requirement of at least 15-hundred petition signatures from at least 10 Iowa counties. Culver says the panel concluded there were at least 15-hundred-97 valid signatures on the petitions. Nader backers had collected a total of 32-hundred signatures, but critics said many had unreadable penmanship, one kind of handwriting as a signature and another noting the accompanying address or even addresses that didn’t exist. Culver says, though, the matter’s settled now and Nader’s name will go on the ballot. It’s crunch time for the decision, as many county auditors plan to print the November ballot next week. Culver says it was important to get things set, as absentee ballots will start going out the doors of county auditors’ offices on September 23rd.
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