North Carolina Green Party response to state board of election ballot access certification ruling
PITTSBORO, NC – The North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) sees today’s certification of our party by the North Carolina State Board of Elections as vindication for our organization and for the over 22,000 residents who signed our petition for more voter choice in this state. The decision is a reversal of the July 1, 2022, decision by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) in a party-line vote of 3-2 to reject the NCGP’s petition for “new party status” and with it the ballot access required to run Green candidates.
North Carolina Green Party
For Immediate Release
August 1, 2022
However, this ruling is only the first step toward justice, democracy, and transparency for the people of North Carolina. According to NCGP Cochair, Tony Ndege, "the decision by the NCSBE to certify our party two months after our application deadline and one month after our nominee deadline does not surprise us. The NCSBE’s behavior has been observed nationwide, and this has significantly tarnished the board’s public standing. At this juncture, justice has not been fully served to the NCGP, which is why we are seeking to have our Green nominees rightfully placed on the North Carolina ballot for November 2022."
The actions of the State Board of Elections have appeared to be partisan in favor of the Democratic Party, and its actions have resulted in serious injury to the democratic process in our state:The actions and false allegations of the State Board of Elections have undermined and tarnished the reputation and standing of the NCSBE’s own county boards of election, likewise casting “a cloud” over the directors and staff of the county boards and forcing these workers to engage in many hours of tedious paperwork, as well as forensics signature-checking – for which they are not qualified.
By refusing to certify the NCGP in a timely manner, in accordance with state statute, the NCSBE has caused serious damage to our party as well as to all independent parties and future unaffiliated candidates.
By refusing to certify the NCGP in a timely manner, in accordance with state statute, the State Board of Elections has irreparably damaged current and future petitioning endeavors in North Carolina.
The actions of the NCSBE have left the door open for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, other dark-money super PACs, and other partisan operatives to engage in harassment, voter intimidation, and even fraud toward thousands of people who signed our petition, and this has caused lasting damage not only to our party but also to the entire electoral process.
The actions of the State Board of Elections have defamed the NCGP, unconstitutionally casting “a cloud” – as the NCSBE director Karen Brinson Bell herself has publicly stated – over our petition signatures and with them our party, our candidates, and our volunteer supporters, all while the NCSBE has failed to officially produce a shred of evidence to the NCGP to support its false and, we believe, willfully misleading allegations against our party and specifically against our hardworking volunteers.
The actions and false allegations of the State Board of Elections have undermined and tarnished the reputation and standing of the NCSBE’s own county boards of election, likewise casting “a cloud” over the directors and staff of the county boards and forcing these workers to engage in many hours of tedious paperwork, as well as forensics signature-checking – for which they are not qualified.
By forcing county boards of election staff to verify the handwriting of the signatures themselves against voters’ signatures on voter registration forms, the State Board of Elections has engaged in what we believe is disingenuous, blatant partisan hypocrisy, in that on July 15 of this year, two weeks after the NCSBE vote 3-2 along party lines to deny the NCGP’s petition, the NCSBE again voted 3-2 along partisan lines that county elections officials shall not crosscheck voter signatures on absentee ballots against the respective signature on voter registration forms.
If the NCSBE’s intentions were sincere, then it would be arguing for commonsense remedies to this state’s onerous petitioning requirements, such as recommending that the General Assembly allow electronic petition signatures and that it reduce the number of required signatures from 13,865 to a more reasonable number. The NCGP’s attempts to ask for Covid-19 emergency petition relief from the office of the Governor also went unanswered (notably, the same governor’s office whose legal intern wrote a public records request to the NCSBE, the language of which, in some places, matches verbatim the language that the Democratic Party’s Elias Law Group used in its subsequent requests for public records). Collecting over 22,500 signatures during that height of a global pandemic put at risk not only our petition volunteers but also tens of thousands of North Carolinians.
For these reasons and more, the NCGP is confident that in the near future we will legally prevail and that our 2022 candidates will be placed on the ballot. However, true vindication for the NC Green Party will ultimately involve lasting remedies for the damages inflicted upon us and our democratic process.
For a Green, ecosocialist future,
Tony Ndege, cochair
Michael Trudeau, secretary
North Carolina Green Party