North Carolina Green Party Blasts NC State Board of Elections: Justice Is Not Fully Served by NCSBE's Aug. 1, 2022, Ballot Access Certification Decision
PITTSBORO, NC – The North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) sees the August 1 certification of our party by the North Carolina State Board of Elections as vindication for our organization and for the over 22,000 residents who signed our petition for more voter choice in this state. The decision is a reversal of the June 30, 2022, decision by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) in a party-line vote of 3-2 to reject the NCGP’s petition for “new party status” and with it the ballot access required to run Green candidates.
North Carolina Green Party
For Immediate Release
August 2, 2022
However, NCGP cochair Tony Ndege stated, "This ruling is only the first step toward justice, democracy, and transparency for the people of North Carolina." According to Ndege, "The decision by the NCSBE to certify our party two months after our application deadline and one month after our nominee deadline does not surprise us. The NCSBE’s behavior has been observed nationwide, and this has significantly tarnished the board's public standing. At this juncture, justice has not been fully served to the NCGP, which is why we are seeking to have our Green nominees rightfully placed on the North Carolina ballot for November 2022." Some of the damage NCGP believes the State Board has caused include the following:
By refusing to certify the NCGP in a timely manner in accordance with state statute, the NCSBE has caused serious damage to our party as well as to all independent parties and future unaffiliated candidates.
By refusing to certify the NCGP in a timely manner in accordance with state statute, the State Board of Elections has irreparably damaged current and future petitioning endeavors in North Carolina.
The actions of the NCSBE have left the door open for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, other dark-money super PACs, and other partisan operatives to engage in harassment, voter intimidation, and even fraud toward thousands of people who signed the NCGP petition, and this has caused lasting damage not only to the party but also to the entire electoral process.
The actions of the State Board of Elections have defamed the NCGP, unconstitutionally casting “a cloud” – as the NCSBE director Karen herself has publicly stated – over the NCGP's petition signatures and with them the party, its candidates, and its volunteer supporters, all while the NCSBE has failed to officially produce a shred of evidence to the NCGP to support its false and, the NCGP believes, willfully misleading allegations against the party and specifically against the party's working-class volunteers.
By forcing county boards of election staff to verify the handwriting of the signatures against voters’ signatures on voter registration forms, the State Board of Elections has engaged in what the NCGP believes is disingenuous, blatant partisan hypocrisy, in that on July 15 of 2022, two weeks after the NCSBE voted 3-2 along party lines to deny the NCGP’s petition, the NCSBE again voted 3-2 along partisan lines that county elections officials shall not crosscheck voter signatures on absentee ballots against the respective signature on voter registration forms.
Further, it is NCGP's belief that the actions of the State Board of Elections have appeared to be partisan in favor of the Democratic Party, and these actions have resulted in serious injury to the democratic process in our state: for one, the NCSBE has undermined and tarnished the reputation and standing of the NCSBE’s own county boards of election, casting "a cloud" over the directors and staff of the county boards and forcing these workers to engage in many hours of forensics signature-checking (for which they are not qualified), as well as tedious paperwork.
If the NCSBE’s intentions to ensure democracy were sincere, then instead of the recommendations it has come up with to make petitioning even more difficult in the wake of the NCGP's petitioning effort, the board would be arguing for commonsense remedies to this state’s onerous petitioning requirements, such as passing an official rule allowing or recommending that the General Assembly allow electronic petition signatures and that the GA also reduce the number of required signatures from 13,865 to a more reasonable number (for example, the ballot access petition requirement in New Jersey is just 800 signatures).
The NCGP’s attempts to ask for Covid-19 emergency petition relief from the office of the governor also went unanswered. (Notably, the governor’s office's legal intern wrote a public records request to the NCSBE to obtain the NCGP's petition signatures, the language of which, in some places, matches verbatim the language that the Democratic Party’s Elias Law Group used in its subsequent requests for public records.) Collecting over 22,500 signatures during the height of a global pandemic put at risk not only NCGP's petitioner volunteers but also tens of thousands of North Carolinians – that is, the State Board of Elections and NC Democratic Party have put unprecedented time and resources into "verifying" NCGP's petition signatures while they spent no or negligible effort attempting to make petitioning safer, fairer, and more democratic to new parties and unaffiliated candidates during a global pandemic.
For these reasons and more, the NCGP is confident that in the near future it will legally prevail and that the party's 2022 candidates will be placed on the ballot. However, true vindication for the North Carolina Green Party will ultimately involve lasting remedies for the damages inflicted upon it and the democratic processes in our state.
For a Green, ecosocialist future,
Tony Ndege, cochair
Michael Trudeau, secretary
North Carolina Green Party
About the North Carolina Green Party
The NCGP is the only left-wing dues-paying political party in North Carolina that has achieved ballot access in the past 40 years. We are an anti-racist, feminist, and pro-labor organization that supports gender equality and gender diversity and rejects capitalism in favor of a democratically run economy that responds to the needs of community and planet. We believe positive social and political change will come when progressive, socialist, and other radical people determine that movement activism must also include this critical element: building our own political power outside the confines of the capitalist two-party system. For this reason, the NCGP is membership-based, our members pay dues, and the party is fundamentally and structurally different from the two major parties—we’re funded by and accountable to individual working-class members, not corporate interests and the ruling elite. Let's build independent power together.
The North Carolina Green Party is proud to announce our first-ever candidate for nomination for the US Senate, Matthew Hoh. A Wake Forest, NC, resident, Matthew is a dues-paying member of the NCGP and has been enthusiastically endorsed by the party membership by consensus.
Matthew shares his reasons for running on his campaign site:
For much of my life, North Carolina has been my home. It is a place that has welcomed and supported me, where my family lives, and a place where I was able to rebuild my life after the wars.
I spent ten years in the Marine Corps and went to war three times before realizing the courage to stand against those unjust, immoral, and counterproductive wars. Since 2009, I have fought not only against the war machine but also against the systemic political and financial rot that underlies and connects our problems in North Carolina, the United States, and beyond. It’s not just the overseas wars that have stolen futures from our country and others – it’s also the wars against the working class, the continued racial injustices, the War on Drugs, the criminal for-profit healthcare system, our unsustainable housing crisis, and so many other inequalities, injustices, and inequities that not only stifle individuals and families, but diminish and hold back entire neighborhoods, communities, municipalities, and our entire country.Read more
On Black Friday, several workers from the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Mooresville, NC clocked out, submitted a petition for better working conditions and benefits to their management and walked out chanting. They were joined by other coworkers, several NC Green Party members, and support from NC RaiseUp, IWW, PSL and other organizations. Footage from the walk out action received surprisingly good press coverage and social media coverage went viral all across the country with a reach of hundreds of thousands. The walk-out was one of a record number of Black Friday labor actions as part of a wave of strikes which have rocked the globe in recent months in the wake of soaring prices when the world's richest people have seen their wealth skyrocket since the beginning of the pandemic. Among the demands were better healthcare benefits, better and more equitable pay for all Walmart employees, and attention to serious problems that have been hampering their ability to do their jobs.Read more
Our petitioning drive to run Green candidates in North Carolina is in full swing. The state is making us collect about 15,000 signatures, on paper, from registered voters by May 2022 if we hope to run candidates next year, and we need your help.
Petition with Us
This is the #1 way you can help: Please collect as many signatures on our petition as you can from registered NC voters and mail them to us. (Download the petition here.) Even just 10, 20, or 30 signatures from your friends and family would be a big help. But even so, we do need a number of volunteers to commit to collecting a few hundred signatures. We're offering stipends to those who can commit to collecting 150 or more. Email [email protected] if you're interested. Any registered NC voter can sign the petition, regardless of political affiliation. Please print petition sheets one-sided, and use a different sheet for each county—so if one person is registered in Wake County and another person is registered in Mecklenburg, you must write "Wake" on the top of one sheet and "Mecklenburg" on the top of the other, and the person must sign the sheet for their corresponding county.
To get started, download our ballot access petition and tips/guidelines at our Petitioning Page. At that page you can also sign up to volunteer and to meet other petitioners in our Slack workspace, where we plan petitioning actions. This fall we've petitioned at several high-traffic events, including voting precincts around the state on Election Day, the NC State Fair (Raleigh), Triangle Vegfest (Raleigh), NCSU campus, Davidson College campus, African American Cultural Festival (Raleigh), Shakori Hills music festival (Pittsboro), Carrboro Really Really Free Market, Carolina Classic Fair (Winston-Salem), NC Folk Festival (Greensboro), and more. Do you know of a high-traffic location, event, or festival you'd like to petition at with us? Let us know by signing up to volunteer at the Petitioning Page, and then follow the steps to join our Slack workspace and coordinate with us there. We try to pair new volunteers with an experienced petitioner or party officer. Can you petition at a college campus with us? Let us know.
We have several updates for you this month:
- A Green, anticapitalist take on Derek Chauvin's conviction and the abolition of the police state
- Biden's plan for Afghanistan must be full withdrawal
- Our petition drive to get back on the ballot has begun—how you can help
- The Young Ecosocialist Caucus of NC officially forms
Photo supplied by Melissa Hassard; used with permission.
Police Violence, Class Struggle, and the Chauvin Conviction—the Struggle Continues
“Abolishing” the police state and ending mass incarceration is not enough—well, it cannot exist independently of protracted class struggle. The class that rules the state is unbelievably ruthless. Think about what the Southern plantation aristocracy was willing to do to keep their system. This global ruling class is willing to go farther. We need a clear vision for social organization that we will replace all of this with. This is what will guide people to a new system that is levels above the one we have today. The rulers rule via the class relations of production. States come and go—as long as the dominant force of production is exploitative, the exploiters will chip and charge relentlessly to reconfigure those relations and appropriate and undermine every single victory for the masses. —Tony Ndege, NCGP cochair
The conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd was a rare instance in which a police officer was held accountable for their actions. But during the course of the trial, police nationwide continued to shoot and kill. As of April 22, 72 people have been shot by police since the trial began on March 29. Six of those shootings happened in the 24 hours after the conviction of Chauvin on murder and manslaughter charges. One of them was in North Carolina’s Elizabeth City, where Pasquotank County sheriff's deputies killed Andrew Brown Jr.
The Chauvin conviction, while proper, must not provide police and politicians a space in which to regroup and deflect attention away from the serious, fundamental problems with policing. Without ongoing concerted public pressure exerted on them, politicians and police will not act, and the culturally-conditioned militarized police will continue to prey on communities of color, low-income communities, and the homeless. The United States will remain on its present path of abuse, incarceration, and death. But society cannot allow that to continue, and the pressing question in front of us is how to change the nature and scope of policing in the US.
Municipalities across the country are grappling with this question, with mixed results. In North Carolina, NCGP member Joshua Bradley, in his campaign for Raleigh City Council at-large, has laid out a plan to eliminate the existing police structure and replace it with community-controlled public-safety units that are trained in the tactics of negotiation and de-escalation, and in responding to people with mental trauma and autism or who are under the influence of drugs.
“More than that,” says Bradley, “we need to change two important things about police responses. Often the deaths that happen are in response to police trying to pursue people for low-level offenses, like possession of marijuana or small amounts of controlled substances, or even a minor motor vehicle violation like a broken tail light. We should stop trying to enforce compliance with presumed violations that hurt no one and can lead to an unintended death sentence. Second, we need to change the way we equip and train officers for use of force.
Bradley and his campaign collective propose that the majority of officers in community-controlled police units must not carry lethal weapons. If a situation is deemed to need the use of lethal weapons, only specialists who are vetted, trained, and highly monitored will respond. All of these ideas are worthy of public examination of policing today.
Tommie James, NCGP cochair, adds that “in addition to making essential reforms like removing lethal weapons from the majority of police, overturning Qualified Immunity restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court will allow civil rights lawsuits against abusive policing.” Earlier this month, New Mexico approved House Bill 4 that will allow citizens and citizen groups to sue government agencies for violation of rights protected by their state constitution. Colorado and Connecticut are the other two states to pass similar remedies.
But there are social questions surrounding policing and incarceration in the US that require a deeper analysis to promote societal responses that eliminate both the police and the carceral state as we know it. History shows that police are a tool in the long-running class war that is the defining feature of capitalism. “The police today are a linear descendant of the structures put in place by the Southern plantation aristocracy to track and return runaway slaves, who were considered property,” says NCGP cochair Tony Ndege. “And today’s ruling classes in the US are linear descendants of people who considered slavery a path to profit. That mentality prevails today in the form of wage slavery and the commodification of labor. Policing and mass incarceration will continue until we develop a new and clear vision for social organization that will replace the capitalist tendencies that see the carceral police state as a weapon in the ongoing class war.”Read more
THIS IS A SAMPLING OF THE EVENTS ORGANIZED BY THE NCGP. THIS EVENT HAS PASSED, BUT PLEASE CHECK BACK HERE FOR MORE EVENTS TO COME.
JOIN US for #BAmazon union vote solidarity events in NC and elsewhere on March 20!
Over the past several weeks, North Carolina Green Party and many other Green locals and states have been active in supporting the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon warehouse worker vote to organize under the representation of the Retail, Wholesale Department Store Workers Union (RWDSU). This potentially historic campaign, nicknamed “Organize #BAmazon”, began as a bold effort by predominantly black workers who first formed the “Bamazon Workers Union”; it is the first Amazon unionization vote in over six years and could become Amazon’s first organized facility in the United States. A “YES” vote victory would have a tremendous symbolic impact and could change momentum in the largely unorganized US South by showing everyday people, nationally and internationally, what truly is possible when workers unite.
January 22, 2021
Governor Roy Cooper
State of North Carolina
State Capitol Building
Raleigh, NC 27601
Dear Governor Cooper:
We are contacting you on behalf of the thousands of constituents, registered voters, and tens of thousands of North Carolina residents who have voted for North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) candidates and who support voter choice in our state. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, National Centers for Disease Control guidelines, and North Carolina Executive Orders 118, 121, 131, 133, 135, 138, 141, 147, 151, 155, 163, and 169 and other state guidelines, the NCGP was not able to campaign in a traditional capacity to achieve 2 percent of the vote for our presidential nominee in 2020. As you know, fairs, festivals, shows, parades, mass gatherings, and other means by which candidates normally campaign and raise money were canceled. Most importantly, we found it socially irresponsible to engage in mass distribution of campaign literature.
Even if the NCGP had chosen to ignore public-safety concerns and engage in public campaigning, the general population was averse to social contact and overwhelmingly followed stay-at-home orders and social-distancing guidelines. Our Green presidential nominee also made the difficult ethical and legal decision to not put volunteer petitioners, canvassers, and voters in harm’s way during this unprecedented pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, our Green candidates were excluded from all debates, excluded from almost all polls, and had almost zero media coverage. This exclusion from media and from normal social events and gatherings made it nearly impossible to get our message out to voters in 2020.
During the 2016 election cycle, the NCGP had certified around 12,000 petition signatures, which would have qualified us to be certified as a party in 2018. The NCGP also qualified to be on the ballot in 2018 and 2020. Therefore, we strongly feel that we have demonstrated enough support to remain a ballot-qualified party, and we would have garnered the same support if not for the pandemic.
Today, Covid-19 cases have reached record levels in our state—far higher than during the March–June 2020 shutdown. Executive Orders 181 and 188 have extended stay-at-home precautions across the state, to avoid the spread of the pandemic. Large gathering events, where we have traditionally gathered signatures, are understandably still prohibited. This has made it next to impossible to physically collect signatures. Even professional signature-gathering firms have found it exponentially difficult in most areas to obtain signatures.
Last year, many states and court rulings dramatically reduced the petition requirements for new parties and independent candidates. The governor of Vermont waived them altogether for independent candidates. States like IL, GA, VA, MD, and NY were court-ordered to reduce their petition requirements. In MN, MD, and NJ, candidates and parties were permitted to collect signatures electronically.
We are asking the Office of the Governor:
- To immediately issue an Emergency Executive Order to the State Board of Elections to keep the North Carolina Green Party certified and/or retain all North Carolina voters presently registered as Green as a Green-Inactive status, honoring their wishes to remain Green Party voters, for a period of 18 months. Please honor the democratic wishes of your constituents to remain registered with the party of their choice.
- To issue a one time Emergency Executive Order to waive the petition requirement for all parties that had ballot access during the last election cycle due to the extreme dangers of petitioning during Covid-19. The NCGP does not wish to ask for special treatment; we ask out of legitimate and urgent concern for the safety of our volunteer members and the general public.
- To issue an Emergency Executive Order to lower by at least 75 percent the petition requirements toward establishing a new political party and to allow provisions for electronic petition signatures toward establishing or re-establishing a political party.
By honoring these few reasonable requests in the interest of the safety of our volunteers and the general public, the office of the governor would be sending this message to North Carolina residents:
- NCGP and other alternative parties should not have to risk the health of their volunteers and the general public to maintain ballot status and survival as a political party. Instead these parties should follow the guidelines of the Executive Order and not participate in dangerous and socially irresponsible public petitioning.
- The state of North Carolina respects the democratic wishes of its constituents to remain registered with their party of choice during the exceptional circumstances of this pandemic.
Governor Cooper, we are confident that you will look beyond partisan politics and make the just and ethical decision to ensure the health, safety, and democratic participation of the residents of North Carolina. You have long argued against voter suppression, and we ask that you honor those same intentions and values by fulfilling our request to uphold democratic participation and voter choice.
Cochairs, North Carolina Green Party
News for November 2020:
• Thank You to H20 Volunteers!
• Resist Raytheon in Buncombe
• What's Next for NCGP Ballot Access?
• The Dems' SCOTUS Sham
• Building a Mass Party Now and for the Future
We have several updates for you this month: an Election Day roundup, what's next for Green Party ballot access, how to build the party we need for the future, and a call to resist the new expansion of Raytheon into Buncombe County.
NCGP Thanks H20 and Volunteers!
The North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) wishes to thank Howie Hawkins, Angela Walker, and the entire H20 campaign team for all their hard work over the last two years. Standing up against imperialism in all its forms is no easy task, especially in a year of such unprecedented coordinated assault on our party and independent politics in general.
We also thank each and every NCGP volunteer that gave their heart and time to getting out the vote for our candidates. Without the support, dedication, and labor of our members and volunteers, we can achieve nothing. This year was a very difficult year for campaigning, due to Covid, an anybody-but-Trump mentality, and other hurdles, but with your help, we still managed to earn slightly more votes for Hawkins/Walker than we did four years ago for Stein/Baraka.
Across the state, our volunteers placed 10,000 door hangers in low-income neighborhoods, put up 1,500 signs at busy intersections and polling stations, and handed out X amount of flyers. And this was all financed in small donations by our members and supporters. If you retrieved signs after Election Day and still have them, please contact the NCGP secretary at [email protected].
Each of the 12,000+ Green votes we earned for Hawkins/Walker represents a potential dues-paying NCGP member. Let's build from here!Read more
The Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings do not support the so-called “Lesser Evil” argument. In fact the sham of a SCOTUS confirmation absolutely underscores the necessity for us to build a mass party independent of Wall Street power which can actually organize and lead millions to fight back. The party of labor and ecology that we need would be calling upon and organizing workers and unions to strike, protest and truly resist the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. This is the kind of mass party that we desperately need today. Instead, we have two ruling parties that do the opposite - they both organize in meeting rooms to put down labor resistance and militant protests. The Democrats are failing to offer ANY serious resistance to Barrett’s confirmation; this is a case of deja vu that should not come as a surprise to any of us by now. The same script is being played out again and the people who are telling us that they are the “Lesser Evil” are capitulating to her confirmation and hugging their so called “greater evil” cronies. The consistent deadly betrayals by the political elite of the interests and lives of everyday people are once again masked by fake respectability politics during the pomp and circumstance of these hearings.
they see no future beyond our decaying system
Our upcoming popular resistance to the confirmation of Barrett will once again be blunted by a well-financed liberal wall of calls for “civility” by the Democrats. We will hear desperate pleas for more donations to the big nonprofits that function no differently than corporations. They will come to our demonstrations and implore us to “resist” by electing them to capitulate. Again. They will even host well-funded tightly-controlled “protests”, in order to funnel the righteous anger of the people back into the clutches of the Democratic Party. Again. These non-profits will ask us to pour our dwindling funds into their lobbyist organizations which pale in comparison to the rich corporate lobbyists. This is all ultimately a twisted political game to the political class and the non-profit leadership because they are primarily concerned with perpetuating their careers and their power. Why? Because they see no future beyond our decaying system. None of them will be calling for us to strike or pour into the streets or to do anything significant to hurt the bottom dollar of their corporate bosses. This will continue to happen time and time again as the contradictions and decline of our system deepen - until we break with the Two Party trap and build our own independent power.
We, the working class majority, desperately need to build our own parties which represent the interests of the people and the planet; not the Wall Street elite who are the proven enemies of labor, ecology and peace. Such a party may begin with humble and difficult beginnings, but the hunger for such an organization is real. Two-thirds of Americans today want more parties. To move towards a party that represents the interests of every day working class people, we need to ditch once-and-for-all the divisive language defining SOME of us are the "middle class" and some are less deserving, which politicians from BOTH ruling parties have consistently used to divide and conquer working people. They have wielded this rhetoric to deceive us into believing that "some" of us would be protected by them against the rest of us. That we are better off divided. This kind of divisive politics has paved the way for Trumpism and far worse. This class-divisive rhetoric, underscored by the lack of an independent party of labor, has set back the ability of the majority to build true power.
Now is not the time to play it safe. We have seen with this systemic response to the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis that none of us are safe. As the profit system continues its death spiral towards mass evictions, war, potential nuclear annihilation, environmental collapse and rising fascism, we are ALL at risk of perishing if we do not forge a new Ecosocialist system. To do this, we need to fundamentally redefine what a real party for the us should be - a vehicle for people with similar interests, that organizes to fight for those interests. A new mass party must have a fundamentally different structure than the corporate structure of the DemoPublican system. It must be built on organizing, not high-dollar advertising. We cannot beat them in a party they control with tactics they have billions to spend on. We must have a party that is involved in movements and which can make headways in labor. All of these things require the commitment of everyday people like us - a stark contrast with the “Coke or Pepsi” politics of our present electoral system.
a small handful of judges appointed by the servants of the elite that is incapable of being recalled by the direct will of the people.
The impending confirmation of Barrett to the Supreme Court and the complete capitulation of even the left-most congressional Democrats underscores the backwardness of our entire 233 year old system of the electoral college, of state-controlled gerrymandered districts and an anti-democratic Senate body. This system includes the archaic structure of the Supreme Court - a small handful of judges appointed by the servants of the elite that is incapable of being recalled by the direct will of the people. Despite several historic hard fought progressive victories embodied in the Bill of Rights, all of the sitting Supreme Court Justices have at one time or another, played a role in eroding many of those protections - the First and Fourth Amendments in particular. The last progressive Amendment to this country’s Constitution, lowering the voting age to 18, was passed almost 50 years ago in response to our powerful Vietnam Anti-War movement during which millions of youth stood up to the draft and the injustices of being forced to kill and be killed but not even able to vote. The gradual decline to a complete halt of progressive amendments over the last century, underscores the calcification of our political system ruled by corporate power, and its total resistance to bending or responding to the will of the masses. New generations have called this systemic dead end “late stage capitalism” and that is a wholly appropriate description.
The Democrats will never fight for us - they serve Wall Street, the war industry, and the corporate developers.
This is why a party capable of steering future mass movements forward to lasting organizational power (instead of into the two party trap) is necessary. The Democrats have proven time and time again that they will not protect us or even respect the majority will of its voters. Their purpose as a party ruled by the rich and their own interests is to protect the status quo of the wealthy elite above all else - including their own party's success at representing or even inspiring its voters. More than half of Congress are millionaires themselves. The Democrats will never fight for us - they serve Wall Street, the war industry, and the corporate developers. They will only occasionally concede to our demands and then spend the rest of the time eroding those concessions in lock step with Republicans. As the late great comedian and social critic George Carlin observed, it's all one big Wall Street club, including most of the politicians who are wealthy themselves- and we're not in it.
The North Carolina Green Party calls upon the people of North Carolina to support us and join us in our goal of fighting for a new and better system. We cannot accomplish this by simply voting for the “lesser” evil and putting far less resources in building something new. Now is not the time of pragmatism and fear-based retreat - now is the time to stand up and fight for our collective survival.