August 15th, 2012 | Richard Winger of Ballot Access News reports that “Gary Johnson is forced to make a quick trip to Tennessee to personally sign each petition sheet.”
The deadline for independent presidential candidates to file petitions in Tennessee is noon, August 16, Thursday. The Libertarian Party is not ballot-qualified in Tennessee, so Gary Johnson supporters collected signatures for him as an independent. However, on August 14, the Johnson supporters learned for the first time that Tennessee is requiring each independent presidential candidate to personally sign each petition sheet. Johnson was forced to fly to Tennessee on very short notice. See this newspaper story.
Tennessee election officials also told Merlin Miller, the presidential candidate of American Third Position Party, and Rocky Anderson, presidential candidate of the Justice Party, that they must also sign each petition sheet. However, state officials told the Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, and the Constitution Party presidential candidate, Virgil Goode, that this is not a requirement. However, the latter two presidential candidates are nominees of ballot-qualified parties in Tennessee, so in any event they didn’t need a petition.
Tennessee requires 275 signatures for an independent presidential candidate, and also requires that presidential elector candidates supporting such presidential candidates meet a residency requirement, with one elector needed from each U.S. House district.