ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

James O'Toole of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on Nader's status in Pennsylvania [21 electoral votes] where yesterday the Commonwealth Court held an unprecedented eight simultaneous hearings in five cities on challenges to Nader's petitions. The challenge in this state has been highly complicated, and fiercely partisan. "It is expected to be late in the week before the court could hope to consolidate the results of the scattered proceedings around the state," O'Toole writes. More than 30-thousand of Nader's signatures are in question. LINK

Today in Chicago, a hearing will be held to look into the time sheets of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to see if employees were checking the validity of Nader's petitions for candidacy on company time. LINK

In Arkansas, country clerks and ballot printers are standing by, awaiting a decision on Nader's Nov. 2 status. The deadline for printing is Oct. 8. Oral arguments on Nader's appeal are set for Thursday, so says the AP. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's John McCormick hitches a ride on the Nader "motorcade of one" in Wisconsin, where a judge could rule as early as today about his status on the ballot there. On Monday, a judge in Madison temporarily forbid the state board from telling county clerks which presidential candidates to list on the ballot. LINK

In Wisconsin, it's the same deal. Printing is at a halt until Dane County Judge Michael Nowakowski announces his decision about Nader's candidacy this afternoon.

Barring a slow appeals process, the state is still on schedule. LINK

Note: A third-party debate will be held in Coral Gables, FL this Thursday, Sept. 30 with the Libertarian and Green candidates. At this point, Ralph Nader does not plan to participate, though he will be in Miami.

There will be other third party debates between now and Nov. 2. The one with the longest-held tradition is being organized by Cornell University.

That debate will be held Oct. 6, 2004 in the Cornell campus with David Cobb, Walt Brown [Socialist Party], Michael Badnarik, and Michael Peroutka [Constitution Party]. LINK

Politics: Gov. Schwarzenegger's autograph — err, signature — ended the "eight-year experiment" that was California's March primary. California will now return to a June primary date. Schwarzenegger also made it the law of the land for any electronic voting machine certified in the Golden State in 2005 and beyond must have a verifiable paper printout. LINK

We've told you this before and now with the help of the Los Angeles Times' Susannah Rosenblatt we are telling you again. If you are a fan of political campaign television ads (and we know that you are), you've got to check out "The Living Room Candidate" exhibit. LINK

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

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