On July 27, a lower state court in Georgia ruled that the deadline for paying the fiing fee must be complied with strictly. Therefore, Mary Norwood is off the ballot as an independent candidate for Chair of the Fulton County Commission. The petition deadline was July 13, and she complied with that. But the deadline for filing her filing fee was noon on July 2, and she was four hours late for that.
She still has the option to file a federal lawsuit, alleging that the July 2 deadline is unconstitutional. Only four states require independent candidates to file a filing fee or declaration of candidacy before the petition itself is due. West Virginia voluntarily repealed that in 2009. South Carolina once had such a deadline but it was declared unconstitutional in 1990 in the 4th circuit. But the 5th circuit upheld such a separate deadline in 1996. The other states that have separate deadlines are Texas, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Kentucky. The separate deadlines have never been challenged in court in the latter three states.