The North Carolina Green Party is no longer recognized in North Carolina. After the 2020 general elections, North Carolina Greens faced decertification from being a recognized party since their candidates failed to surpass the 2% threshold of the entire state’s vote for governor or president. The party needs over 13 865 petition signatures to get back on the ballot before June 12th or their voters would have their registration changed to unaffiliated.

According to an article in the NewsObserver, Green Party secretary Michael Trudeau has reported that the Greens have collected roughly 2 500 signatures. He added that they are not planning to submit any signatures after the June 12th deadline and use those signatures, which will be valid until May 2022, to get ballot access for 2022 general elections. The North Carolina Board of Elections confirms that there are zero signatures submitted by the Green Party.

The North Carolina Greens after the general elections

The Green Party received 0.22% of the vote—12 195 votes—for president in the general election with their Green presidential candidate Howie Hawkins.

If you are interested, here is an article published by Global Green News regarding Hawkins’ candidacy.

After losing certification as a recognized political party, North Carolina Greens have condemned Republican and Democratic Parties for placing restrictions on the rights of other parties.

On their website, they stated: “Two parties kicked us off the ballot after the 2020 election because Covid-19 prevented the Green Party from all-out campaigning and petitioning during a nationwide lockdown, and now Governor Cooper and the state are refusing to grant us relief from having to petition to get back on the ballot during an ongoing global pandemic—the state is insisting that alternative parties go out in unsafe conditions and collect over 15 000 petition signatures just to get on the ballot.”

Greens continue to campaign to get back on the ballot and receive support from their former candidate, Howie Hawkins. On April 22nd, the party thanked Hawkins on Twitter for highlighting the campaign, adding “Yes, despite a global pandemic, and w/ NC’s COVID rates spiking again, Gov. Cooper is still requiring NCGP members to collect 14K+ signatures on paper, in person, just so we can run Green candidates”

Criticizing the difficult conditions of campaigning during an ongoing pandemic and Governor Cooper’s insistence on the 12th of June deadline, the Greens plan to hold onto their signatures that don’t expire until May 31, 2022. Their petition campaign will continue, and they hope to file signatures next year and gain ballot access for the 2022 general election.

Getting petition signatures during COVID-19

According to Ballotpedia, getting ballot access in North Carolina requires a candidate to meet a variety of state-specific filing requirements and deadlines. Candidates from independent parties often must petition in order to have their names on the general election ballot.

North Carolina law doesn’t prohibit the collection of electronic signatures for the candidates. Still, the Board of Elections announced that they do not accept electronic signatures.

Campaigning for a petition during COVID-19 limits movement and creates unsafe conditions which prohibit the staff from knocking on doors and getting signatures with paper and pen. Green Party secretary Trudeau commented on the decision by the Board of Elections, saying “How can we go out and collect petition signatures with paper and pen, which is required by law…when there’s a global pandemic?”

Click here if you want to get involved or learn more about the North Carolina Petition Drive.

Zeynep Karageldi

Zeynep is from Izmir, Turkey. She is a second-year undergraduate student at McGill University in Montreal pursuing a BA in Political Science. Passionate about environmental science and environmental law, Zeynep likes to address issues from both scientific and political perspectives as a writer. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and traveling.

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