Green Party not official political party, says State Board of Elections
RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - The State Board of Elections voted Thursday not to recognize the Green Party as an official political party in North Carolina.
The reason the SBE gave was that there is an ongoing investigation into evidence of fraud and other irregularities in the petition process used to seek ballot access for the party.
By a vote of 3-2, the board voted down a motion to recognize the Green Party. Recognition would have allowed Green Party candidates to appear on ballots in the November 2022 general election, as well as allow state voters to register as Green Party affiliates.
The SBE says over the past several weeks, county boards of elections in North Carolina validated enough signatures by registered voters to put the party over the 13,865 required for recognition under state law. However, as county boards reviewed Green Party petition sheets, and later as the SBE did, they found irregularities, including:
- The same handwriting throughout a petition page and/or signatures that clearly appear to be written by the same person. It is illegal to sign the name of another person to a petition.
- Three signature-gathering contractors hired for this petition collected 1,472 signatures, but only 624 were accepted. At least three workers were paid by the signature collected.
- Voters apparently signed petitions more than once.
- Voters whose names appear on the signature sheets claim they never signed the petition.
- Petition sheets include dead voters or voters long-removed from the voter registration files, indicating submission of signature sheets from a past Green Party petition drive.
- Signature pages identify a long-ago Green Party chair, also indicating submission of outdated signatures.
Matthew Hoh, a Green Party member and North Carolina Senate candidate, responded to the court’s ruling Thursday.
“The NC State Board of Elections decision to deny the Green Party our rightfully earned place on the ballot is a corrupt, lawless, and blatantly partisan attack on democracy,” Hoh said. “It’s a slap in the face to the thousands of people who signed, to our grassroots organizers who worked tirelessly to collect thousands of signatures during an ongoing pandemic, and to everyone who believes in democracy itself.”
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