Marion Co. says Santorum still off Ind. ballot

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Posted: Feb 06, 2012 6:18 PM
Marion Co. says Santorum still off Ind. ballot

An Indiana elections official said Monday that GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum still lacks the signatures needed to make it onto the state's May primary ballot.

Santorum has questioned Marion County's decision to throw out 49 signatures. But Cindy Mowery, Republican member of Marion County Board of Voter Registration, said the signatures are still invalid.

"I don't think any of these signatures that they brought in matter," Mowery said. As of Monday afternoon, Mowery said she had not done a thorough review of the signatures, but she said she talked with Santorum campaign lawyers in the morning and based on their arguments decided the county's earlier decision to disqualify him for the ballot would likely stand.

The number of contested signatures would be enough to put Santorum on Indiana's ballot.

Republican Indiana state Sen. Mike Delph, a Santorum supporter, said the campaign is not giving up, despite Mowery's determination.

"I don't believe so, not by any stretch of the imagination," he said. Supporters would run a write-in campaign in Indiana as a last-ditch option, Delph said.

Statewide candidates in Indiana, from president to governor, all have to collect 500 valid signatures from registered voters in each of the state's nine congressional districts to appear on the May 8 ballot.

Marion County officials decided last week that Santorum was 24 votes shy of the 500 needed in the state's 7th District.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney all qualified for the ballot.