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Former Arkansas Green legislator loses Democratic primary

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

Arkansas held its primaries on May 18. Richard Carroll was defeated for re-election in the Democratic primary, for State House, 39th district. Carroll had been elected as a Green Party legislator in 2008, but after the 2009 legislative session had ended, he had switched from the Green Party to the Democratic Party. Continue Reading

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Green Party has candidate on ballot for Tennessee governor

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

The Tennessee Green Party has placed Howard Switzer on the November 2010 ballot as an independent candidate for Governor. Tennessee has no other statewide races this year.

If the pending ballot access lawsuit wins, it is very likely the court will order that Switzer be put on the ballot as the Green Party nominee, instead of being labeled as an independent. The lawsuit was filed on January 23, 2008, in U.S. District Court. It has moved slowly, but all the evidence and the briefs have been submitted.

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Hawaii Green Party back on the ballot

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

The Hawaii Green Party is now a ballot-qualified party. The state has already approved the party’s petition, which required 692 valid signatures. The party will now be given its own primary, and anyone can get on the party’s primary ballot with either 25 or 15 signatures, depending on which office. Any registered voter may sign.

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Green Parties in TX, AR, AZ, HI need your help to get on the ballot

Several state Green Parties are collecting signatures to win ballot access for 2010 elections – and beyond! No matter where you are, there is some way to help fellow Greens win the recognition they need from their state governments. Please help any of the following states, and stay tuned for further news from other state parties.

TEXAS

The Green Party of Texas must collect more than 40,000 signatures in the next two months. This is a high hurdle but one that a lot of volunteers can make happen! To help the Texas Greens, contact kat@txgreens.org or call 210-471-1791. The Green Party of Texas is online at http://txgreens.org.

ARKANSAS

The Green Party of Arkansas is set to start a ballot access drive on Saturday March 20th. The drive will last until June 18. The goal of the drive is to collect at least 15,000 signatures, in the expectation that 10,000 of them will be certified. You can make a donation or volunteer at http://arkgreens.org.

ARIZONA

The Arizona Green Party just finished collecting signatures. They turned in nearly 30,000 signatures and are hoping enough will be validated to win ballot access. The Arizona party needs financial support to meet their obligations to collectors who helped get signatures. You can send checks to: Arizona Green Party, P.O. Box 60173, Phoenix, AZ 85082.

HAWAII

Always wanted to take a Hawaiian vacation? If you can get to Hawaii to help collect signatures in the next few weeks, please contact http://www.greenhawaii.org/ to volunteer!

According to ballot access expert Richard Winger, “The Hawaii deadline is April 1, although there is a chance that the deadline is unconstitutionally early. The number of signatures is only 663 and if the Green Party gets on in 2010, that will help it be on automatically in the future.

Hawaii law is very strange. It says if a party petitions or otherwise qualifies for the ballot 3 elections in a row, then it is also automatically on for the next 5 elections after that. The Greens petitioned in 2008. If they petition in 2010 and also petition in 2012, then they will be on automatically in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022. So to goof up the 2010 petition wrecks that sequence. Greens are supposed to be future-oriented; this will be a test.”

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Mountain Party of West Virginia has five candidates this year

From Richard Winger at Ballot Access News:

The Mountain Party of West Virginia is that state’s affiliate of the Green Party. This year it has chosen to nominate by primary rather than by convention. Therefore, anyone who wanted to run as a Mountain Party candidate was required to file for the primary by January 30.

Five individuals filed, either for the state legislature, or for partisan county office. The best-known candidate is Jesse Johnson, who is running for State House.

The party has no candidates for any of the three U.S. House seats. West Virginia has no statewide races in 2010.

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Democrats playing dirty tricks in Illinois

In two stories at Ballot Access News, Richard Winger covers efforts by Democrats in Illinois to run against Tom Tressler in the Green Party primary in Tressler’s bid to win the nomination for President of the Cook County Board, and to keep Green Bill Scheurer from running for Congress on the Green Party line.

In the Tom Tressler case, a person listed as a leader of the Young Democrats has filled out paperwork to run in the Green Party primary against Tressler. When Illinois Greens attempted to contact the Democrat they got no response. Ballot Access News links to this NBC News story about the situation.

In the Bill Scheurer case, the Democratic Party is simply taking the low road by challenging his petitions to appear on the ballot in the Green Party primary. Because the Democratic dominated state legislature has ended a policy of long standing that allows party officials to nominate candidates in races where no candidate filed to run in the primary, a system called “slating”, the Illinois Greens will have no candidate in that congressional race should the petition challenge succeed.

The Democratic Party pulled this same sort of anti-democratic stunt a few years back when they advised Scheurer to hire a ballot access team that planned to sabotage his petitioning effort. Scheurer sued in that case. The current effort to keep him off the ballot is covered at the Daily Herald.

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California Green Party at risk? Top-two primaries

In a 500 word essay, Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger reports on a proposal to be voted on by the voters of California which might have a detrimental impact on Green Party candidates. Winger reports:

Many people who support “top-two” are unaware that the system, in practice, results in a complete absence of minor party and independent candidates from the November ballot.

Winger goes on to offer five different approaches that would serve the goals of a fairer, more inclusive political process for California.

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Florida Greens closer to getting their day in court

In a report at Ballot Access News, Richard Winger reports that a new date, September 23, has been set for depositions to be taken in the case of the “mystery Greens”. Five people unknown to any Florida Green Party members filed to run for office in races where the Republican and Democratic Parties were both fielding candidates, paying a substantial filing fee to do so.

After they filed to run several people, including this writer, attempted to reach them to find out what their plans were. Contact was minimal and as far as can be determined no actual campaigning happened. The state chair filed suit to find out where the money to pay the filing fees came from. According to brief discussions with Floridians attending the national convention, the depositions have been delayed as lawyers representing the “mystery Greens” dropped the case and new attorneys had to be found.

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Free and Equal Elections

Sounds simple enough. Elections should be free…or at least access to the electoral process should be…and all candidates should be treated equally.

Sadly, as articles posted here yesterday show, that is not always the case.

For many years the website Ballot Access News was the nation’s sole source of consistent and balanced news about election access and fairness. While that site remains the most complete and best documented source for such news, another effort has taken shape to bring even more attention to these issues so fundamental to our democratic process.

Free and Equal benefits from having Ballot Access News editor Richard Winger on their board, but they do provide additional information, which we will be sharing with you here at Green Party Watch. To read a few of their articles simply click on this article’s headline. In the meantime, do yourself and democracy a bit of a favor and subscribe to Ballot Access News’ print edition. It’s chock full of information, and exceptionally readable.

Continue Reading