Introduction: As a party that has recently achieved ballot access status in North Carolina so that we can run candidates as Greens in partisan elections, the North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) is creating a serious alternative to the existing parties and their damaging public policies.
Developing a party that can mount effective campaigns requires running candidates who bring a radical message to the public discourse and also well-planned and well-executed campaign strategies. Such candidates cannot be easily dismissed as protest candidates; our candidates will help build the Green Party into a massed-based, working-class ecosocialist alternative to the capitalist parties. These candidates will compel media attention and appeal to voters tired of the corporate Democrats and Republicans and their ineffective and often deceptive public policies. In the face of the disasters of climate change and environmental degradation, the injustice of income inequality and homelessness, and the deliberate dismantling of public institutions that are supposed to create opportunities for working people, the Green Party and its candidates cannot be perceived as a waste of time for voters and those interested in substantive change.
For that reason, since gaining ballot status in 2018, the NCGP has developed a thorough approach to approving Green candidates within our own state, and the standard for approving presidential candidates should be just as serious. To that end, the NCGP has also implemented the following standard criteria for approving presidential candidates to appear on our Green Party primary ballot in North Carolina. It’s our hope that these standards are fair both to serious presidential candidates prepared to mount nationwide campaigns and to our members who support the NCGP in the belief that our party continues to be a driving force that improves the political process, both statewide and nationally.
Recognition of Declared Candidates for the North Carolina Green Party Nomination for President
The North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) reserves the right to establish its own guidelines for recognizing Green candidates for president. These guidelines shall determine candidate access to statewide membership meetings and website content, as well as inclusion on the NCGP’s list of its recognized candidates for the presidential primary to the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics by the date specified by the state board.
Section 1: Assessment Metrics
The campaigns of individuals running for the Green Party nomination for president will be assessed by the NCGP’s Endorsement Committee and Coordinating Committee using the following criteria:
1.1 Candidate has been officially recognized as a Green Party of the United States presidential candidate.
1.2 Party Affiliation: Candidate is not a registrant or otherwise a party member of any state or national level political party in the individual’s primary state of residence except for a state party which has affiliated with GPUS, or a party forming for the intent of GPUS affiliation in a state where there is no GPUS affiliated state party. Dual membership with a GPUS-affiliated party and another left/progressive party is allowed. Examples of left/progressive parties that would be considered allowable for dual membership include Workers World Party, Socialist Party USA, Peace and Freedom Party, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Examples of parties that are not left/progressive include the Democratic, Republican, Constitution, Reform, and Libertarian Parties. In general, the NCGP does not consider parties that assume capitalism as a primary economic system to be progressive/left.
1.3 Ballot Lines: Candidate has submitted to the NCGP a nationwide ballot access plan that demonstrates the campaign’s plans to appear on at least 37 statewide Green Party ballot lines. (The North Carolina Green Party retains ballot access if the GPUS presidential nominee is on 37 state ballots.)
1.4 Website: Candidate has a dedicated website to promote the candidate’s candidacy, where the website must be publicly accessible via a provided URL, is controlled by the candidate, is not shared with another campaign, clearly identifies that the candidate is running for the Green Party nomination, and has an online donation capability. Social media pages do not satisfy this requirement.
1.5 Signatures of Support: Candidate has collected at least 200 signatures of support from Green Party members. The NCGP, assisted by state party officers, shall be responsible for verifying that at least 200 of the submitted signatures are valid signatures of Green Party members. Of the 200 verified signatures, no more than 50 may be counted from any one state, and signatures must come from at least ten state parties. If the candidate has submitted 200 signatures to GPUS, the NCGP will accept those signatures without further need of verification.
1.6 FEC Filing: Candidate has established a federal campaign committee for the current presidential campaign, as recognized in public listings of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), or the candidate has established an exploratory committee and has provided documentation of its establishment.
1.7 Fundraising: Candidate has demonstrated fundraising success consistent with running a viable national campaign by either (1) raising at least $10,000 where no more than $250 from any individual donor may count towards this threshold and at least $500 must have been raised from at least ten states OR (2) having received donations of at least $10 each from at least 500 individual donors. This metric shall be verified through the campaign’s finance receipts.
Section 2: Recognition Process
2.1 Granting Full Recognition: When a candidate believes they have met the minimum criteria for metrics specified in Section 1, they must submit a statement to the NCGP Endorsement Committee demonstrating their qualifications for recognition. Once the NCGP confirms that the requirements of Section 1 have indeed been met, the NCGP will designate that candidate as “recognized.”
2.2 Rescinding Recognition: Once a candidate has been extended official recognition, such recognition may be rescinded by a proposal specifying cause, with a 2/3 vote of the NCGP Coordinating Committee. Grounds for rescinding recognition include a finding of significant fraud or misrepresentation in a candidate’s statement, a determination that the candidate is no longer seeking the nomination, or a determination that the candidate’s platform, policies, or statements are substantially contrary to NCGP principles.
Section 3: Candidate-Party Relationship
3.1 Public Access: As part of its publicly available information pages, the NCGP shall include the assessment metrics identified in Section 1 above. The NCGP shall also provide its members access to these assessment metrics and candidate evaluations.
3.2 Candidate Access to Party Communication Channels: Candidates who are officially recognized by NCGP shall, through the use of fair, equitable, and published procedures, be eligible for campaign assistance offered at the discretion of the NCGP Coordinating Committee or the party’s media team, which may include postings on NCGP websites or visibility on NCGP communication channels. The NCGP will not assist candidates with postings on its websites and other communication channels who have not met NCGP requirements. The NCGP will not prohibit unrecognized candidates or their supporters from posting to its social media public groups, so long as such posts adhere to NCGP’s posting guidelines.
3.3 Democratic, Fair Access to Membership Meetings: The NCGP is not required to invite presidential candidates to its statewide meetings. However, if the NCGP holds a statewide gathering to which it invites Green presidential candidates during the calendar year prior to the North Carolina presidential primaries, then the NCGP shall grant access to the meeting to any candidate who has been fully recognized as a presidential candidate by the GPUS but who has not yet met NCGP’s qualifications. If the NCGP holds a statewide gathering to which it invites Green presidential candidates during the election year, only NCGP-recognized presidential candidates shall be granted access to the meeting.
Section 4: Candidate Appeals
4.1 Any candidate who is recognized by GPUS can appeal NCGP’s decision to not extend recognition. To appeal, a candidate must have the agreement of at least five NCGP members that an appeal is warranted. The appeal must be presented, by aforesaid members, as a proposal to the NCGP membership to extend recognition to the candidate. Because the recognition process determines who is recognized on the primary ballot as a Green Party candidate by the State Board of Elections, the complete, formal proposal of appeal must be received by the secretary of the NCGP at least 21 days prior to the date that candidates must be presented to the State Board of Elections. Once presented, the proposal will be open for discussion among the membership for a period of seven days, followed by seven days of online voting. At the end of the voting period, and assuming that quorum is satisfied, a simple majority will determine the success of the proposal. If quorum is not satisfied, the appeal cannot proceed. A successful appeal will result in official recognition of the candidate by the NCGP within 24 hours of the vote.