Greens begin petitioning

The Georgia Green Party is working to gain statewide ballot access in 2008:

On January 21, the Georgia Green Party issued a press release titled, “Georgia Green Party Kicks Off Ballot Access Drive for 2008″. The release says, for the first time, the party will attempt to qualify as a statewide party. That will require 44,089 valid signatures, to be collected between April 2007 and July 2008.

Across the U.S., only one higher ballot access barrier has ever been overcome by a state Green Party. That was the California registration drive in 1991, which required the party to persuade 79,188 people to register into the party. Even the Texas Green 2000 petition didn’t need as many signatures as will be needed in Georgia; the Texas 2000 petition drive required 37,381 signatures.

However, if the Georgia Greens can succeed, the rewards for them will be great. Once the petition is complete, the party will probably be able to remain ballot-qualified (for statewide office only, since the statewide petition only affects statewide offices) indefinitely into the future. A statewide party in Georgia remains on the ballot as long as it polls a number of votes equal to 1% of the statewide registration. Since Georgia usually elects 9 or 10 statewide officers in mid-term years, any diligent party can poll the needed votes for at least one of those offices. In presidential years there are always one, two or three races for Public Service Commissioner, another office for which voters are generous to minor parties with their votes.

13 comments

  1. Paul Shuford says:

    Why hasn’t something been done to ease ballot access restrictions in this State? There seem to be a lot of third-party voters here, and it seems like the Democrats and Republicans in the State Legislature have dealt with that by making extremely difficult ballot access laws. What are they afraid of?

  2. rugby_fan says:

    Well Democrats were afraid of Republicans, and now, well I am not sure. Libertarians have “access” and they do poorly. Democrats would not be any weaker with the Green Party.

  3. the “party leaders” actually wanted ballot access for libertarians in legislative races as well, and also straight ticket voting in the late ’90’s/early 2000’s.

    but the “good old boys” were convinced straight ticket voting would lead to their downfall, and the sos was convinced that ballot access would mean more work for the elections division and the counties.

    so progress marched on (not)

  4. Harry says:

    Don’t you think voters should at least be required to mark a ballot for whom they’re voting, and not just a party? Is that asking too much?

  5. Harry, most other states have straight ticket voting, and Georgia had it until the ’80’s or so. I don’ t see what the big deal is. SunTrust has a personalized fast cash button on their ATM’s where all of my fast cash preferences ($40, no receipt) have been stored. Why not bring that same simplicity to voting?

  6. jsm says:

    I think a person’s vote is a little more critical than a $40 fast cash transaction at the ATM.

    Voting should be a thoughtful process.

  7. Will Hinton says:

    I don’t think that those who oppose ballot access are afraid of competition. The real issue and problem is that they oppose freedom and the ability for citizen to choose who they want. It is a complete farce to say that people in Georgia get to vote who they want to.

  8. CHelf says:

    Strange that strait ticketing used to be allowed in GA. Why not bring back straight ticketing?

    JSM, a thoughtful process? Tell that to the Legislature who comes up with the most convoluted amendment items on the ballot. Add that to the fact that elections are typically decided before you even get to the ballot in many cases with backroom kingmaking and the establishment deciding in many cases who will get the endorsements and money.

    Politics is far from thoughtful and looking at the past few national elections the GOP is far more guilty of dumbing it down with these groups threatening to withhold their membership’s support if certain items are not done.

    Typically those who would use the straight ticket option vote pure partisan regardless. All this would do is speed the process up of crowded polling places and eliminate fraud in particular elections. Machines record straight votes meaning less room for error in particular races.

  9. Southerner says:

    Oh why not? After all, the Greens are just about as goofily on the edge of reason as the Dems, the GOPs and the Libs are. A little more whimsy in politics might help us all lighten up — and help us to find a reasonable center…but I doubt it.

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