Green Party Pushes For Ballot Access In Eight States - Says Party Suppression Equals Voter Suppression
A key goal for the Green Party each election cycle is for state green parties to gain or retain ballot access, which ensures a line on the ballot for Green candidates for upcoming elections. Having an ongoing ballot line means easier ballot access, allowing state parties to focus their efforts on outreach instead of having to petition for higher numbers of signatures and meet other onerous requirements that smaller parties without ballot access are required to fulfill.
Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2022
The Green Party results this November will largely determine how many Green candidates can appear on the ballot in the next election cycle, and may also impact ballot lines for the Green Party 2024 presidential nominee. The Green Party currently has ballot lines for 2024 in 16 states and the District of Columbia – and hopes to gain additional lines this November. Because of restrictive ballot access laws, other 2024 ballot lines can only be gained via petitioning in 2023 and 2024.
Green Party Ballot Access Races in November 2022
The results of the races below will determine whether the state green parties listed qualify for a ballot line for 2024.
CONNECTICUT – 1% for any office gets ballot access for that office through the next election (minor party status)
Twelve candidates are running for minor ballot status, ten of which have ballot status for the Green Party based on the total in the previous election
INDIANA – 2% for Secretary of State
David Wetterer for Secretary of State (write-in)
MARYLAND – 1% for Governor
Nancy Wallace for Governor
MASSACHUSETTS – 3% for any statewide office
MICHIGAN – top statewide vote-getter must get 1% of the winning vote total from the most recent Secretary of State election
Statewide candidates are Kevin Hogan/Destiny Clayton for Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Larry Hutchinson for Secretary of State, and Robin Laurain, Susan Odgers and Sherry A. Wells for University Board positions
NEW YORK – 130,000 votes or 2%, whichever is greater, for Governor
Howie Hawkins for Governor and Gloria Mattera for Lieutenant Governor (write-in after the signature requirement for non-major party candidates was raised from 15,000 to 45,000)
PENNSYLVANIA – ≈1% for any statewide office maintains ballot line for special elections, prevents ballot line theft, and provides for official party registration (minor party status)
WISCONSIN – 1% for any statewide office
Sharyl McFarland, Secretary of State
Significant Hurdles Restrict Ballot Access
The COVID-19 epidemic greatly restricted petition gathering efforts over the last 2½ years. Combined with onerous petition requirements and exclusion from debates and polls over many election cycles, these hurdles have unfairly restricted the Green Party from fielding candidates - and as a result, have reduced voter choice.
Party Suppression = Voter Suppression
The Green Party believes that ballot access laws enacted by Democrats and Republicans are often intentionally designed to make it difficult for other parties to gain ballot status and challenge two-party control. Most recently, in 2021, both the Democratic Party-sponsored ‘For the People Act’ and the ‘Freedom to Vote Act’ (both passed the U.S. House, but not the U.S. Senate) were specifically designed to make it extremely difficult for Green presidential nominees to even appear on the ballot in most of the United States. Laws that keep parties off the ballot also keep voters from the polls. Exit polling has shown that many people who vote for Green Party candidates would not have voted for any other party candidate.
Top Two in CA Reduces Voter Choice and Ballot Access
Even in California where the nation’s largest Green Party has had ballot status since 1992, it still is difficult for Green candidates to appear on the ballot.
In 2012 - with a ‘yes’ campaign funded by large corporate interests - California voters narrowly adopted Proposition 14, which eliminates party primaries and instead places all candidates from all parties (and independents) on the same primary ballot. Prop 14 also made it substantially harder for minor party candidates to appear on the primary ballot - a fact that was not shared in the official Title and Summary of the measure when it appeared in the official voters guide.
Proposition 14 then limits general election choices to only the top two finishers in the primary, greatly limiting voter choice. As a result, Green U.S. House candidate Michael Kerr is only the fifth California Green to make it onto the November ballot for state or federal office since the proposition went into effect. The Green Party of California calls for the repeal of the Top Two law and replacing it with legislative elections from multi-seat districts by proportional representation and statewide single-seat office elected by ranked-choice voting.
Green Proposals for Fair Ballot Access
The Green Party believes that ballot access is a voters choice and voting rights issue - and that party suppression via onerous ballot access laws is a form of voter suppression. To remedy this, the Green Party’s platform calls for the following:
- Eliminate all ballot access laws and rules that discriminate against smaller parties and independents, and otherwise place undue burden on the right of citizens to run for office – including high filing fees and petition signature thresholds, and unreasonably short qualification periods.
- Enact a ‘right to the ballot law’ establishing national readily achievable baseline standards for state party and individual candidate ballot access petitions. Include a party qualification option by voter registration, for states that offer voter registration-by-party.
- Establish national readily achievable baseline standards for retaining ballot access by political parties. Include the opportunity to retain ballot status via achievable percentages of the vote in any statewide race, not just for governor or president and only require this at a minimum of every four years.
Green Party of the United States
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States