- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Presidential candidates from the Green, Libertarian and Constitution parties have met the deadline to submit nominating papers to get on the fall ballot in Pennsylvania.

The Department of State said Tuesday it received the paperwork from the Greens’ Jill Stein, the Libertarians’ Carla Howell and the Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle.

Howell, the Libertarians’ national political director, is a stand-in who plans to withdraw her name soon and be replaced by former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. The person submitted as vice president by the Libertarians, Ken Krawchuk, also plans to step aside, in his case in favor Johnson’s running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

The parties are seeking to take on Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 voting.

The only third-party candidate to receive more than 1 percent of the general election vote in Pennsylvania in the last four presidential races was Ralph Nader, who reached 2.1 percent as a Green candidate in 2000.

The Libertarian Party is also putting forward Edward Clifford III in the U.S. Senate race that pits Republican incumbent Pat Toomey against Democratic challenger Katie McGinty.

Nominating papers were submitted ahead of Monday’s deadline by 12 minor party or independent candidates for state House seats and two for state Senate.

The Libertarian and Green parties are putting up candidates for Pennsylvania treasurer and auditor general. Libertarians also have filed for state attorney general and in two congressional races.

The nominating papers can be challenged in court, similar to how major party nominating petitions can be challenged before the spring primary.

A federal court ruling a month ago lowered the signature requirements for third parties significantly, a victory for those who fought Pennsylvania ballot-access rules that were widely considered to have been among the nation’s toughest.

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