PHOENIX — Ralph Nader's campaign said it has collected more than enough signatures to have his name placed on the presidential ballot in Arizona.
If the state validates the signatures that were filed Wednesday, it would be Nader's first spot on a ballot in the 2004 election.
Nader spokesman Kevin Zeese said that the campaign has collected 22,000 signatures, more than the 14,694 needed to compete with President Bush and presumed Democratic nominee John F. Kerry.
Democrats promised to scrutinize the signatures as well as the petition drive. Some members of the party blame Nader for denying Democrat Al Gore the presidency in 2000.
"We are going to be putting these signatures under a microscope," said Jim Pederson, state Democratic Party chairman.
At stake in Arizona are 10 electoral votes. Bush defeated Gore in Arizona, 51% to 45%, with Nader capturing 3% of the state's votes in 2000. This election year, Democrats say they have a better chance at capturing the state, which has a Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano, and a growing number of Latinos, many of whom tend to vote Democratic.
The consumer advocate has been endorsed by the national Reform Party.