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Arkansas News: Green Party says it deserves ballot access in next election

The Arkansas News reports on the Arkansas Green Party:

LITTLE ROCK — The Green Party of Arkansas says its strong finish in several statewide races last week shows it deserves guaranteed ballot access in the next general election, though it failed to clear the hurdle set by state law.

Parties can get on Arkansas’ ballot either by collecting 10,000 signatures of registered voters or by receiving at least 3 percent of the vote in the most recent gubernatorial or presidential race. In some statewide races last week the Green Party’s candidates received more than a fourth of the vote, but its gubernatorial candidate, Jim Lendall, only captured 2 percent.

That means the party has to go to the trouble and expense of collecting signatures to get on the 2012 ballot, as it did to get on the 2010 ballot.

The state Green Party sued Secretary of State Charlie Daniels last year, after the party’s 2008 U.S. Senate candidate captured more than 20 percent of the vote but the party was denied automatic ballot access because its presidential nominee received less than 3 percent. A federal judge threw out the lawsuit in July, but the party is working on an appeal.

The Green Party says the state has set the bar unreasonably high for third parties in order to maintain the status quo.

“Almost all states say any statewide election where the candidate can get 3 percent or more gains ballot access,” state Green Party spokesman Mark Jenkins said today.

Read the full article at Arkansas News.

Dave Schwab

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