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National Green Party Helps Arizona Green Party with Ballot Access

Published on February 11, 2008, by in General.

The Libertarian Party traditionally gets its presidential candidate on the ballot in all states, or almost all states. Its presidential candidate was on in 46 states in 1988, 50 states in 1992, 50 states in 1996, and 50 states in 2000 (although the presidential candidate listed in Arizona was someone other than the presidential candidate listed in the other 49 states). In 2004 the party got its presidential candidate on in all states except New Hampshire and Oklahoma.

The Green Party has never been as successful at that task as the Libertarian Party. The best it ever did was in 2000, when it got its presidential candidate on in 43 states. This is because the national Libertarian Party has a strong tradition of helping state affiliates with ballot access, whereas the Green Party does not have that tradition.

However, the national Green Party’s ballot access committee is now providing concrete help to some state parties. Last year it helped the Arkansas Green Party, and on February 10 it appropriated $4,000 for the Arizona Green Party. The Arizona Green Party now has 11,000 signatures on its party petition, but it needs 20,449, by March 6.

There is a good chance the Arizona deadline for the party petition is unconstitutional. Petition deadlines for new or previously unqualified parties, or for their nominees, that early (even for office other than president), have been declared unconstitutional in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

No petition to qualify a party in Arizona has succeeded since 2000, when the Greens last did it. The Arizona legislature moved that petition deadline from May to March in 2000. Thus even if the Green Party effort falls short, it is worthwhile for it to make a maximum effort, and sue against the deadline if such a lawsuit becomes necessary.

3 Responses

  1. Eddy

    I suspect that the Libertarian Party also has a lot more money available to run signature drives to get candidates on the ballot.

  2. Michael

    Following up Eddy’s comment, which is true I’m sure, the Libertarian Party has a 10 or 15 year head start on the Green Party, having formed in 1971, as opposed to the Greens, who began in the 1980’s and did not have one national organization, GPUS, until after the 2000 election. Before then there were 2 organizations, GPUSA, and ASGP, or the Association of State Green Parties. So while we may not have had the success of LP, we are making strides in that direction.

    I feel we have a great chance to grow the party behind the candidacy of Cynthia McKinney, who I hope will get the nomination.

  3. Furthermore, there isn’t really even a national Green Party, per se. The Green Party of the United States is a confederation of state Green parties. Also, two of the Green Party’s key values are decentralization and grassroots democracy, which means the GP is comparatively weak at the national level by design. It is, theoretically, a bottom-up organization and decisionmaking is generally done at the local level whenever possible. This makes national-level strategizing challenging, to put it politely. :)

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