Can a Candidate File Nomination Papers for the General Election If His Name Has Been Stricken from the Primary Ballot ?
Once a candidate's name has been stricken from the primary ballot or the candidate loses his party's nomination in the primary, the candidate is then precluded from filing nomination papers for the general election.
In Lachina v. Berks County Board of Elections, 887 A.2d 326 (Pa. Cmwlth.), aff'd, 584 Pa. 493, 884 A.2d 867 (2005), the prospective candidate filed Democratic and Republican nomination petitions seeking the primary nomination of both parties for the office of Magisterial District Judge.
Due to defects in both nomination petitions, the nomination petitions were struck and the candidate's name did not appear on the primary ballot as a candidate for either party. Lachina.
Thereafter, the candidate attempted to refile nomination papers as a candidate of a political body. Id.
This Court held that since the candidate had not voluntarily withdrawn from the primary process, but instead was stricken from the ballot due to defects in her nomination petitions, she was precluded from subsequently filing nomination papers as the candidate of a political body. Id., 887 A.2d at 329.
The Court opined that Section 976 of the Code, 25 P.S. 2936, (which provides that no nomination paper shall be accepted "if the candidate named therein has filed a nomination petition for any public office for the ensuing primary, or has been nominated for any such office by nomination papers previously filed.") requires the Secretary to reject the nomination paper of any candidate who has filed a petition for, or who has actually participated in, that primary election in which he seeks a ballot position. Id.