Resource: Alberto v. City of Roanoke

By: Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

October 22, 2020

Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

Two potential candidates allege that they cannot reasonably meet the State Board of Elections rules to appear on the ballot. Specifically, given COVID and relevant Stay at Home orders, limitations on gatherings over 10 people and social distancing: 1) they cannot reasonably obtain the required number of signatures; and 2) they cannot reasonably individually witness each signature. Ballot restricitions severly burden the right to vote and right of association and violate the First Amendment. If the election regulation imposes a severe burden, it must survive strict scrutiny. The requirements imposed here are severe and in the absence of relief (including an extended time to file to be on the ballot) would impose a severe if not impossible burden, thereby violating the First Amendment.