The Maryland Green Party will be back in court to defend their 15,000 ballot access signatures as the Maryland State Election Board tries to deny them ballot access. From the Green Party:
Maryland Green Party to Defend Ballot Access Petition in State’s High Court
Maryland Green Party members will be in attendance at the Maryland Court of Appeals in Annapolis on Friday, March 2, 2012 as their ballot access lawsuit goes before the state’s high court. The case of Libertarian Party of Maryland and Maryland Green Party v. State Board of Elections will be heard by the court that morning.
The Green Party filed suit in conjunction with the Libertarian Party in March 2011 after the State Board of Elections rejected thousands of signatures intended to extend the party’s status as a recognized political party. An Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge decided in favor of the parties in June 2011 and ordered them placed on the ballot. The Court of Appeals will hear the Board of Elections’ appeal next Friday.
Green Party members are prepared to begin circulating new petitions to meet the 10,000 signature requirement to extend the party’s ballot status. The Green Party is currently ballot-qualified but will have to collect approximately four thousand new valid signatures if the Court of Appeals rules against the two parties.
“We worked for over a year to collect nearly 15,000 signatures,” notes party co-chair Brian Bittner, “and although the Board of Elections was able to identify significantly more than ten thousand voters who had signed the petition, the majority of them were rejected because they had signed without their middle initial or used a nickname like Bill or Betty. We went to court to win Marylanders’ right to place a new political party on the ballot and eventually vote for those candidates. It will be a major disappointment if that win is overturned and we have to go back out on the streets for more signatures, but we are willing to do that to keep what we have struggled for over the last decade.”
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