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As reported late last month, Pennsylvania's Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, Carl Romanelli - funded entirely by Republicans in a ploy to steal votes from Democrat Bob Casey - was found to have too few signatures to make the ballot. Romanelli had a pending suit claiming that the signature requirement was too high, and that the state should change the rules and let him run.

He just lost the lawsuit.

In a one-sentence order, the court upheld a state judge's decision in August that required Carl Romanelli to gather an unusually high 67,070 signatures to qualify for the Nov. 7 ballot alongside Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and Democratic state Treasurer Bob Casey.

Romanelli had argued that the formula for calculating the number of signatures should be based on last year's judicial retention elections in which state judges run unopposed and voters cast up-or-down votes on whether they should serve additional 10-year terms.

Pennsylvania law sets the number at 2 percent of the ballots cast for the largest vote-getter in the last statewide election. This year's 67,070 threshold was based on Casey's record vote count in 2004 when he ran for treasurer. Romanelli's arguments would have cut the number to fewer than 16,000.

"I'm disappointed," said Romanelli's lawyer, Lawrence M. Otter.

It's over. The fake Green is off the ballot. And Santorum badly needed Romanelli to poach 40-50,000 Casey votes to make the race closer.

Originally posted to daveweigel on Tue Oct 03, 2006 at 09:15 PM PDT.

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