Independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson will be listed on the Now. 4 ballots in at least 34 states and the District of Columbia. And, though he may fall short of getting on all 50 state ballots, it appears he will come very close.
Lawyers for the Anderson campaign are busy trying to overcome restrictive state laws and their sometimes narrow interpretation by election officials. Legal expenses for this effort are a heavy burden.
Court victories last week involving access to the Maine, Maryland, and North Carolina ballots have given a big lift to Anderson legal aides. They are guardedly optimistic concerning the outcome of litigation in several other states.
Still pending are state appeals of favorable federal district court rulings involving Kentucky and Ohio, and a move to force Georgia election officials to certify disputed voter signatures on Anderson nomination papers filed there.
Unless Anderson campaign attorneys succeed in their coming pleadings before the Georgia Supreme Court, the home state of President Carter could be the only one in the nation where the independent candidate is not on the ballot.
Georgia election officials ruled earlier this month that the independent candidate's papers were some 57,539 to win a place on the November presidential ballot. Anderson workers maintain that a spot check they made of 10 percent of the disallowed signatures indicate that half are those of duly registered Georgia voters and should be counted.
At least one other suit which could have a major impact on the Anderson candidacy is due for an early airing. At issue is the candidate's right to accept individual campaign contributions in excess of $1,000.
Being aired Sept. 30 in Portland, Maine, before a three-judge panel is a challenge to a Federal Election Commission regulation which unless overturned will limit to $1,000 the maximum individual contribution to his campaign. President Carter and Ronald Reagan, through their parties' national committees, can receive donations of up to $20,000. The independent presidential candidate maintains there is a national organization operating in his behalf which should be allowed to accept donations as large as those permitted for the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns.
As things now stand, Mr. Anderson's name is assured of being on the ballot in the District of Columbia and at least 34 states with a combined electoral vote of 357, well over the 270 needed to win the presidency.
Nomination papers in 15 other states -- including Arizona and South Carolina, where they were turned in Sept. 18, are awaiting voter signature certification. On Sept. 19 Anderson workers filed nomination papers in their 50th state -- New Hampshire.
At this point it is not clear on how many state ballots the name of Anderson's vice-presidential running mate -- former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey -- will appear.
Efforts to substitute his name for vice-presidential stand-ins listed on Anderson nomination papers are under way in some dozen states where election regulations are particularly restrictive in this respect, or are being so interpreted by state officials.
Anderson lawyers have won their point in at least one state -- Indiana -- and suits are pending in at least two others -- Florida and Pennsylvania.