A bill to lower the signature requirement for parties to qualify for the ballot will soon be heard in the NC House. Senate Bill 656, the Voter Freedom Act of 2017, passed the NC State Senate unanimously in April and then passed the NC House Elections and Ethics Law Committee in mid-June. It would lower the signature requirement for a new political party to qualify for the ballot from 94,221 to 10,000 signatures.
This bill would significantly lower the barrier for the North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) to get on the ballot!
Had this bill been law in 2016, Stein/Baraka would've been on the NC ballot last November, as the NCGP gathered over 12,000 petition signatures for them.
The bill would also lower the signatures for an unaffiliated statewide candidate to a flat 5,000 signatures.
This is a big step forward for free, fair, and open elections in North Carolina. We need to do all we can to get this bill passed.
The bill also lowers the signature requirement for unaffiliated candidates running for district offices (General Assembly, Congress, etc.) and local offices from 4% to 3% of the qualified voters in the district.
We have reason to believe that this bill has a good chance of passing the committee and the NC State House.
Call to Action
We urge you to CALL the House Speaker Tim Moore and all members of the NC House. Simply urge them to support SB 656 vote YES on it when it comes up for a vote. Contact info for state reps is below. Calls can be made to your representatives all week.
** We recommend that you DO NOT mention that you support the Green Party when making your calls. It's probably best to avoid any partisan declarations. Instead, simply say that you are a concerned North Carolina voter. **
You can use some of the talking points below:
Why North Carolina Needs Ballot-Access Reform
- No state has a higher signature requirement for new political parties to obtain access to the ballot than North Carolina does.
- No state has a higher signature requirement for congressional candidates.
- North Carolina required 10,000 or fewer signatures for more than 50 years (until 1983) with no administrative problems related to ballot access.
- No state that requires as few as 5,000 signatures for access to the ballot has ever had more than eight candidates on the ballot for a statewide office, including North Carolina
- 36 of the 50 states require 5,000 or fewer signatures for US Congress (15,000 fewer than North Carolina)
- 36 of the 50 states require 10,000 or fewer signatures for statewide office (84,000 fewer than North Carolina)
- 36 of the 50 states require 20,000 or fewer signatures to form a new political party (74,000 fewer than North Carolina)
- All states require fewer signatures than North Carolina for a new political party and congressional candidates.
- North Carolina’s election laws impose excessive and unreasonable requirements on new political parties and unaffiliated candidates far and above the standards in most states. It’s time for North Carolina to reduce these burdens.
- If the state can arbitrarily exclude candidates from the ballot as it does now, the whole voting process is undermined.
- The legislature is wrapping up its session and may adjourn in early June, so things may happen fast. The bill could be voted on in committee in one day and on the House floor the next, with little notice. Please make your calls today. This is the best chance we’ve had in many years for meaningful ballot-access reform in North Carolina.
House Speaker Tim Moore
Members of the NC House
Contact info of all members of the NC House can be found here: http://www.ncleg.net/gascripts/members/reports/room-phone.pl?Chamber=House&viewType=normal
Questions? Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign and share our Demand for Equal Access to the Ballot to lower the signature requirement here: https://ncgreenparty.nationbuilder.com/opentheballot.
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Raleigh, NC 27601
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