CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – New Hampshire is among 13 states backing Arizona’s bid for another hearing in a court battle over laws governing how independent presidential candidates get onto election ballots.

There are two issues: whether people paid to collect signatures to get independent candidates onto the ballot must live in Arizona, and whether the state’s June deadline for petitions is too early.

Arizona lost on both issues in a federal appeals court earlier this year. Attorneys general in the 13 states want the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Arizona’s appeal.

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader brought the case. Defenders of the laws say they help prevent fraud.

Bud Fitch, New Hampshire’s deputy attorney general, said Friday the state is not taking a position on the issues, but would like the Supreme Court to spell out what is and is not constitutional.

He said the rationale for requiring paid petition circulators to live in the state involved is that petition signatures often are disputed, and election officials need quick access to circulators to resolve disputes on tight deadlines.

New Hampshire does not require paid circulators to be New Hampshire residents, according to Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd.

“We don’t have any laws governing who can collect petitions for these candidates,” she said.

To get on the New Hampshire ballot, independent presidential candidates must submit the signatures of 3,000 voters registered in the state by early September. This year, Nader and Libertarian Party candidates Bob Barr and George Phillies all qualified.

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