The all-year pursuit of Ballot Access
States efforts to gain ballot access across the country
from the National Office of the Green Party of the United States
Ballot access season never ends and this year you can play a key role! You can help take the next step to getting Green Party candidates on the ballot in all 50 states in 2012 today. A number of state parties are working through legislation, litigation, and petitioning to win or keep ballot access for the Green Party in their state.
The Illinois Green Party must collect 5,000 signatures for its 2010 candidates before November 2nd. The ILGP slate is headed up by LeAlan Jones who is running for the United States Senate formerly held by Barack Obama, and Rich Whitney, the 2006 candidate for Governor of Illinois who won over 10 percent of the vote, cementing the ILGP as a major party under state law. Both of these candidates, as well as many others on the ILGP slate, have the potential to make national headlines and maintain the partyís ballot status under the law.
The Arizona Green Party must collect just over 20,000 signatures to win full party recognition from the state. Imagine spending time in sunny, warm Arizona helping petition on behalf of the AZGP. Arizona Greens have worked to win ballot access in several consecutive election cycles, so their frequent petitioners need a surge of energy from new volunteers.
Contact the Arizona Green Party at www.azgp.org to help out.
Despite electing a Green to the state legislature and polling over 20 percent in a U.S. Senate race in 2008, the Green Party of Arkansas must once again petition for ballot access. The party has initiated a lawsuit – its third ballot access suit since 2001 – challenging this exclusionary interpretation of state law. Party Coordinator Mark Swaney noted that Greens in Arkansas ìare quite literally fighting for freedom and democracy against a conservative Democratic Party machine that can, and usually does, see to it that the people of Arkansas have no say whatsoever on election day.î You can read more about this ACLU-supported lawsuit and how you can help it move forward at www.arkgreens.org.
The Green Party of Hawaii is currently gathering signatures to retain the ballot access it won in 2008. The party is planning to collect the 663 signatures it needs by the end of 2009.
The Maryland Green Party is preparing for its 2010 petition drive. State law requires the party to collect 10,000 signatures, but the party must collect many more this year due to new, stricter verification requirements. The party is responding by working with legislators to introduce bills to clarify the verification procedure and lower the signature requirement, in addition to collecting as many signatures as possible. ìWe asked every member of the state Senate to introduce a bill on our behalf to cut the number of signatures we need to collect in half,î said Brian Bittner, who organized last yearís legislative efforts. ìWe ended up finding both Democrat and Republican sponsors in both the Senate and House and getting a bill through initial committee hearings in both†Houses. Now we are working to get the bill pre-filed for the 2010 legislative session and start building support for it well in advance.î Visit www.mdgreens.org/petition to find out how you can help with the petition effort.
There are many ways to contribute even if your state is not currently collecting signatures. If you live in or near a state that is petitioning, you can hit the street and start getting signatures now. Make sure to talk to your local party contact or petition coordinator first. If your state currently doesn’t have ballot access or has to overcome exclusionary rules to win ballot access, talk to your state party leadership about legislation or litigation that could make getting Green Party candidates on the ballot easier.
If your state needs help getting started, please contact the Green Party of the United States at 202-319-7191 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Greens in Arkansas ìare quite literally fighting for freedom and democracy against a conservative Democratic Party machine that can, and usually does, see to it that the people of Arkansas have no say whatsoever on election day.î Mark Swaney, Arkansas Green Party Coordinator