Green Party Goes to Court for Ballot Access
The Green and Libertarian parties filed a motion in the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals this week requesting an injunction to place their gubernatorial tickets on the ballot for the general election in November.
Both parties face specific objections to their ballot access petitions that state they submitted less than the required 45,000 signatures. Seven independent nominating petitions were submitted, none had more than 45,000 signatures, and all have been objected to on the grounds of insufficient signatures.
The state Board of Elections is expected to rule on those objections at its June 27 meeting. If the parties do not win their case, 2022 will be the only time in New York’s history except 1954 and 1878 when only two candidates for governor appeared on the ballot.
“The thousands of voters who signed our petitions to put us on the ballot is what should matter, not a Draconian ballot access law designed to protect the two major parties from electoral competition,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green nominee for Governor.
Gloria Mattera, the Greens’ nominee for Lt. Governor, said, “We know that former Governor Andrew Cuomo and Democratic Party state chair Jay Jacobs pushed for this ballot access exclusion law because they have no respect for the voters or democratic norms. But where are the self-styled Democratic socialists and progressives on this law? Their silence is deafening.”
The motion was filed as part of an existing appeal by the Green and Libertarian parties of a district court decision that rejected their request for an injunction against implementing the restrictive ballot access law enacted by New York State in 2020. That law tripled the signature requirement from 15,000 to 45,000; more than tripled the votes required from 50,000 to 130,000 or 2%, whichever is greater and was over 173,000 votes in 2020; doubled the frequency the vote requirement must be met from every four years to every two years; and increased five-fold the number of signatures a statewide candidate must get in half the congressional districts from 100 to 500.
The motion filed this week asks the court to place the parties on the ballot or expedite the appeal so the case is decided in time for the November election. The motion argues that the parties are likely to win their appeal and so will be irreparably harmed if the case is not expedited or there is not an injunction placing them on the ballot.
The motion argues that the public interest will be served by granting ballot access to the candidates of the third and fourth largest parties in the nation. It also argues that the change of congressional district lines in the middle of the petitioning period that was not resolved until the last week of petitioning made it impossible for the parties to meet the distribution requirement of at least 500 signatures from half the congressional districts.
The parties’ court documents are attached.