Pennsylvania's minor political parties file lawsuit demanding ballot access

Libertarian, Green, and Constitution Party members request an injunction waiving the requirement to collect a specific number of signatures to qualify for election HARRISBURG, Pa. — Leaders of the Libertarian Party, Green Party and Constitution Party issued a call to action for ballot access Thursday after filing a lawsuit in federal court requesting a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction eliminating the requirement to collect a specified number of signatures on nomination papers to qualify for the general election in November. The motion, filed May 14 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, names Governor Tom Wolf et al as defendants. Continue reading

Coronavirus adds to ballot access hurdles for third party candidates

When Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a former Republican who left the party in July to become an independent, announced last weekend that he would not pursue the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination, the move removed a higher profile name from the top of its ticket. Before Amash decided to forgo a run, a similar thing happened to the Green Party. Former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who became Minnesota's chief executive by running as a Reform Party candidate in the 1990 election, said at the end of April he was "testing the waters" for a possible bid for the minor party's nomination, only to announce a week and a half later that he would be sitting this one out. Continue reading

Unable to collect signatures, third parties fear loss of ballot access

Third parties in Maryland are feeling squeezed by a stay-at-home directive that's canceling farmers markets and festivals ― and keeping Marylanders out of the joyous crowds where volunteers usually seek petition signatures to keep their access to Maryland ballots. The Green Party and Libertarian Party ― as well as independent candidates, backers of charter amendments and other ballot question efforts ― have been petitioning the State Board of Elections for relief in recent weeks. Continue reading

Ballot Access victory for Illinois Green Party

If a minor party was on the ballot in either 2016 or 2018 for an office that is up in 2020, then it is automatically on the ballot for those same offices in 2020 On April 21, U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, a Clinton appointee, orally described substantial relief she intends to order for minor party and independent candidates for the Illinois 2020 election. Candidates will need 10% of the original legal requirement. The petition deadline is extended from June 22 to August 7. Signatures can be obtained on a signer’s computer via an electronic signature, although the candidate or party must then print out the results and transport a piece of paper to election officials. The order is being drafted but does not yet exist on paper. Continue reading

Covid-19 and the black working class

Black Agenda Radio with Margaret KimberleyApril 20, 2020 "Social distancing is sometimes not an option for us," said New York City activist Betty Davis at a Black is Back Coalition national teleconference. "When they close the schools, many working class people don't have a partner, so they have to rely on extended family." Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela called Covid-19 "a colonial virus. Colonialism is when somebody else controls every aspect of your life," including your ability to resist a pandemic. Continue reading

Will the pandemic keep third parties off the 2020 ballot?

The pandemic may have robbed Donald Trump of a growing economy. It may have trapped Joe Biden in his basement. But it may yet do something even worse to the Libertarian and Green party nominees: keep them off the ballot in many of this year’s key states. In 2016, the Libertarian Party was on the general election ballot in all 50 states; this year, it has secured ballot access in just 35. Similarly, the Green Party—which in 2016 had its best election ever by making the ballot in 44 states, with another three states granting the party’s candidate official write-in status—has qualified for the November ballot in only 22 states. Continue reading

COVID-19 is killing minor parties' ability to get candidates on the ballot in Minnesota

State Sen. Scott Jensen, center, joined Independence Party Chair Phillip Fuehrer, far left; Minnesota Green Party Chair Trahern Crews, center left; and Libertarian Party Chair Chris Holbrook, center right; at a February press conference at the State Capitol to promote minor party ballot access. The most fertile places for Minnesota's minor political parties to gather signatures to get their candidates on the ballot are lakes and festivals. But COVID-19 has made both off-limits for party petitioners — and going door-to-door isn't a viable alternative. Continue reading

Third parties call for ballot access relief

PITTSBURGH – Much of politics is based on personal interactions, but in the midst of a global pandemic, such interactions can be potentially deadly. The COVID-19 outbreak has left third parties in Pennsylvania out in the cold, concerned that they may not be able to get on the ballot for key races in November due to an inability to collect signatures. "People aren't willing to take a pen, or a piece of paper" from a petitioner, national Libertarian Party executive director Daniel Fishman said. Additionally, Gov. Tom Wolf's stay-at-home orders — extended to all 67 of Pennsylvania's counties on Wednesday — have blocked petitioners from attending now-canceled public events or going door-to-door. Continue reading

Newark activist, Green Party candidate discuss Coronavirus crisis

Why was a state of emergency declared so quickly for COVID-19, but not for the city's lead water crisis? Newark Water Coalition co-founder Anthony Díaz and Madelyn Hoffman, the New Jersey Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, discussed COVID-19 in Newark last week NEWARK, NJ – Why was a state of emergency declared so quickly for the new coronavirus, but not for Newark's lead water crisis? This question was one of several posed during a recent conversation between Newark Water Coalition co-founder Anthony Díaz and Madelyn Hoffman, the New Jersey Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2020. Continue reading

Lawsuit: Ease requirements for 3rd-parties in Georgia amid coronavirus

In a time of "social distancing" and the coronavirus, third-party candidates shouldn't have to go door-to-door collecting over 20,000 signatures to get on the ballot in Georgia, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday. The lawsuit by Libertarian Party and Green Party nominees for the U.S. House of Representatives asked a judge to reduce the signature requirement to account for days lost because of social distancing guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading