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.