The civil suit filed by the state’s Green Party and the Libertarian Party over access to the North Carolina ballot goes to trial in Raleigh Monday, May 5.

It is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Superior Court, 316 Fayetteville St., Room 10-B.

Witnesses from both parties and the State Board of Elections are expected to testify, as well as Richard Winger, who publishes Ballot Access News and is considered an expert on the issue.

A year ago, the third parties sued the State Board of Elections, contending that North Carolina’s ballot access laws are unconstitutional. North Carolina has among the most restrictive regulations in the country; it requires third parties to collect 70,000 petition signatures of currently registered voters, a number equivalent to 2 percent of the voter turnout in the last gubernatorial election. However, canvassers collect at least 100,000 signatures because inevitably local boards of election challenge the validity of some signatures and toss them out.

The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the third parties; the N.C. Attorney General’s office is representing the board of elections.

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