Voter Suppression

The above quote is taken verbatim from a court recording during a hearing held by the Montana First Judicial District County of Lewis and Clark on May 17, 2018.

The Democrats have challenged all the independent petitions for Governor after ramming through changes to the law to make it largely impossible for independent third parties to get on the ballot for statewide office. Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee for Governor, discusses the Democrats' ongoing efforts to suppress electoral challenges in New York.

June 9, 2022 – The Green Party of New York gubernatorial ticket decried today the objections filed by Democrats against their independent nominating petition.

“We are not surprised that the objections were filed by Nassau County minions of the chair of the Nassau County and State Democratic committees, Jay Jacobs. Jacobs has been on a crusade to wipe the Green Party off of New York ballots. I don’t want to hear anymore hypocritical crocodile tears from anti-democratic Democrats like Jacobs about Republican attacks on voting rights. Party suppression is a form of voter suppression. It’s what authoritarian governments do. It is what Jacobs and the Democratic Party are doing,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor.

ALBANY, NY – The Green Party of New York filed nominating petitions for their candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor on Tuesday, saying that the Democrats’ failure to address critical issues in the 2022 state legislative session highlighted the need for an independent progressive alternative party in New York.

On April 19, members of the Green Party of New York began soliciting the 45,000 voters’ signatures they need to gather in 42 days by May 31 to place the party’s gubernatorial ticket of Howie Hawkins for governor and Gloria Mattera for lieutenant governor on the ballot. Thanks to Democratic legislators who tripled the signature and vote requirements for ballot access at the urging of then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo as part of the state budget package in April 2020, New York now has one of the most difficult independent nominating petition systems in the nation and the world.

Many are outraged at recent Republican laws enacted in many states that affect voting rights. But we all should be outraged at Democrats in New York who have enacted laws to undermine voting rights in our state.

These new rules ensure that only the elites in New York can run for office, that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers will be prevented from voting for whom they truly support, limiting our choice and therefore silencing our voice. Over 250,000 New Yorkers voted for alternatives parties in 2018. Ending achievable candidate access to the ballot, as well as voter access to the election process disenfranchises voters for alternative parties like those we represent, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party.

In 38 years, there have been only eight successful attempts by minor parties or independent candidates to collect the tens of thousands of signatures required by Indiana law to guarantee a spot in state elections, according to a new lawsuit by the Indiana Green Party and Libertarian Party.

The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, says minor parties and independents face "substantial or severe burdens" because of Indiana's "unconstitutional" rules governing how they can qualify for state races.

  • By Garret Wassermann, Co-chair of Green Party of the U.S.

PHILADELPHIA – Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Republican Party proposed changes to the state's 1938 Election Code. The bill, HB 1300, was ultimately vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf in June. However, Pennsylvania's decades-old election code does need serious analysis and change, especially in light of lessons learned in 2020 while trying to hold elections during a global pandemic. The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) had previously submitted some ideas to the public, and I would like to revisit and expand on those ideas.

  • The Democrats belie their commitment to democracy by repeatedly suing to get the minor party off ballots

Democrats have framed their voting-rights legislation as a "battle for the soul of America." President Biden last week said that "the right to vote and to have that vote counted is democracy's threshold liberty." But what about the right to a real choice?

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on the Freedom to Vote Act, in response to increasing restrictions upon voting rights passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures. In 2021, at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. Over 100 more such bills are scheduled to be heard in 2022.

The Freedom to Vote Act is a pared-down version of the Democrats’ For the People Act. The newer bill was negotiated by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to address his concerns. Manchin’s compromise legislation even includes a voter ID provision in the hope of gaining at least 10 Republican votes to avoid an unbreakable 60-vote filibuster.

We all know that Maine is peculiar in all sorts of ways, so it should be no surprise that we are out on an island in terms of the way we allow access by political parties to our ballots:

“Maine’s statutory scheme is almost entirely unique in the nation,” says Oliver Hall, legal counsel for the Center for Competitive Democracy, “in that the only way to become a ballot-qualified party is to have enough enrolled members.” 

Specifically, you need to launch your political party and get to 10,000 members within two elections. Before recent legal revisions, it was even worse: You had to have 10,000 enrollees actually vote in that election!