Withdrawing Nomination Petitions to Have a Name Placed on the Primary Ballot
In Packrall v. Quail, 411 Pa. 555, 192 A.2d 704 (1963), our Supreme Court addressed whether a person who filed nomination petitions to have his name placed on the primary ballot of the Democratic Party but timely withdrew them, was allowed then to file nomination papers as a candidate for the "Good Government Party" in the general election.
Because Packrall, the candidate, withdrew the nominations within the time period for withdrawal, our Supreme Court concluded that at the time he filed the nomination petition, Packrall was not a candidate for the Democratic primary which meant that he did not technically file nomination petitions and prevented the acceptance of his nomination paper as a candidate of the "Good Government Party."
Our Supreme Court noted that the trial court attributed the wrong purpose to Section 976 stating:
The real purpose of this part of the so-called "party raiding" provisions is to prevent the election ballot from being cluttered by candidates who are seeking to multiply the number of times their name appears on the ballot under various inviting labels.
The legislative remedy was to limit each person to being a candidate of one political group, a choice which could be made any time before the close of the nomination period.
Section 976, therefore, requires only that the person seeking nomination not be the candidate of another political group at the time the nomination paper is filed. Id. at 557, 192 A.2d at 706.