Maryland Greens File Federal Suit For Ballot Access
BALTIMORE – Last night the Maryland Green Party filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Governor Larry Hogan and State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone in order to challenge the unconstitutional application of Maryland’s ballot access laws during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
Since early March when we suspended our in-person petitioning efforts, we have been lobbying the State of Maryland for two demands: 1) allow electronic signature collection and 2) lower the signature threshold to account for the impossibility of petitioning during a global pandemic.
On April 22nd we succeeded in the first half of our demands, when the State Board of Elections authorized electronic signature collection. We have been developing an open-source electronic signature gathering platform and look forward to sharing it soon. Unfortunately our appeals for a lower signature threshold have as of yet been ignored by the Governor’s office.
The lawsuit, which includes the Libertarian Party of Maryland, seeks to have the Green Party placed on the November Ballot based on the progress made prior to COVID and on our consistent place on every ballot since 2000. We have a constitutional right to seek ballot access and more importantly our members have a constitutional right to affiliate as they choose. We believe the law is on our side, and we look forward to the opportunity to make the case to a judge.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown more than ever that we cannot simply accept the choice of barbarism and austerity that the two-party system offers us. COVID-19, the climate crisis, war around the world, racism, and severe economic inequity have our state, nation, and world firmly locked in a race to destruction, and we need to be able to provide voters a different vision of a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This lawsuit is an important part of that.
We will provide updates as the case develops and please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me if you have any questions.
Maryland Green Party