Arizona Democrats plan to file a lawsuit in a bid to block Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes' decision to allow a third-party ticket on the ballot in 2024.
According to the Washington Examiner, state Democratic Party leaders are set to file the suit against Fontes on Thursday to force him to exclude the group No Labels from the next presidential election by denying it from appearing on the ballot.
The move is indicative of growing concern among Democrats that President Joe Biden's reelection hopes could be stymied by a third-party candidate and that the party's hold on the Senate could also be broken.
The complaint alleges that Fontes violated state law when he accepted signature petitions from No Labels because the accompanying affidavits were signed before all the petitions had been gathered.
Because of Fontes' alleged error, the Arizona Democratic Party argues that the affidavits that verified the signatures should be considered false and the petitions invalidated.
The suit also claims that No Labels has failed to comply with the federal reporting requirements of a political party, including donation limits and donor disclosure. The group is organized as a social welfare nonprofit, which is not required to disclose its donors.
"No Labels is not following the rules for political party recognition, while attempting to be placed on the ballot alongside actual, functioning political parties who do," Morgan Dick, spokeswoman for the Arizona Democratic Party, told The Washington Post. "Arizonans deserve better, and voters deserve to know who is behind this shadowy organization and what potentially nefarious agenda they are pushing."
No Labels disputed the Democrats' accusations and said the lawsuit was being used to suppress independent voices.
"This undemocratic and unscrupulous lawsuit is a disgrace," Ryan Clancy, chief strategist for No Labels, said in a statement. "Next time you hear this crowd talking about protecting democracy, remember what they are really doing is protecting their turf."
The Examiner reports that the third-party group has been working to put together a ticket for more than a year in an attempt to provide voters with an alternative to candidates they consider extreme. While No Labels has not yet said whom it will nominate, it plans to meet in April for a nominating convention. The group has already qualified to appear on the ballot in Oregon, Alaska and Colorado, in addition to Arizona.
Pushing back against Democrats and Never Trumpers who warn a third-party ticket could help sweep former President Donald Trump back into office, No Labels has reportedly predicted that its ticket could capture the White House by winning 23 states and 279 electoral votes.
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