Posted from the website of the Green Party of Pennsylvania.
Green Party Hails Ballot Access Decision
POSTED BY HILLARY KANE 1288.60SC ON JULY 03, 2016
The Green Party of Pennsylvania hailed a new ballot access ruling that immediately cut the required number of signatures to get statewide candidates on the 2016 ballot from over 21,000 to 5,000 signatures.
"This is a game changer," said GPPA Secretary Hillary Kane. "We have been fighting these unfair ballot access rules in court for almost ten years. Finally, we have prevailed. This is welcome relief to the Green Party and all of those who care about equal access to the ballot." Ms. Kane served as GPPA Chair 2007-2009; during her tenure GPPA joined with other third parties in what would be the first of many law suits.
The Green Party would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their pro bono attorney, Oliver Hall, of the Center for Competitive Democracy. "Without the persistence of Mr. Hall, none of this would have been possible," said Jay Sweeney, GPPA Steering Committee member. Sweeney, also a former Chair, helped manage GPPA's involvement in the litigation as well.
Anyone who has been gathering signatures for the 2016 campaign is urged to contact the party to send in their petitions as soon as possible.
* Added 7/5/16
Green Party Fields General Assembly Candidates - Re-posted from the website of the Green Party of Pennsylvania
The Green Party has 2 candidates on the ballot for the November 4 election. Ryan Hazel is running for State Representative in the 98th District. Glenn Davis is running for State Rep in the 190th District.
Glenn Davis is the chair of the Green Party of Philadelphia (www.gpop.org) from West Philadelphia.
After filing with the PA Secretary of State, Davis said, “I am tired of the present-day political system that does nothing for our communities. It is time for a change. A vote for Glenn Davis will be a vote against mass incarceration. I will work to redirect funding out of the prison system and into public education. I will also work for a minimum wage of $15.00/hour and a 40 hour workweek throughout our Commonwealth.”
Ryan Hazel is a self-described political outsider. “We have a lot of work to do here in Pennsylvania.” he said. “As a citizen I feel it is my responsibility to do my part in making our great Commonwealth the best place we can make it for our children and their children. What I bring to Harrisburg is a voice of the people. Not just another suit with an agenda, but a catalyst for change to make a better tomorrow.”
While two candidates were able to qualify for the ballot, Jay Sweeney who filed for State Senate in the 20th District had his petitions challenged. He is reviewing his signatures, consulting with counsel and considering his options.
Gubernatorial nominee Paul Glover and running mate Dr. Wendy Lynne Lee fell short of the 16,600 signatures required.
“Congratulations to Green Party candidates appearing on the November ballot. They offer Pennsylvania voters dynamic choices this year. “ said Glover.
“Green candidates stand firm to end fracking, shift funds from prisons to schools, promote solar and wind rather than nuclear and coal, create green jobs that lower the costs of living while cleaning water and air, returning common sense to Harrisburg.”
“I want to thank all who collected signatures and contributed monetarily on my behalf. Statewide candidacy in Pennsylvania is a steep wall to climb, compared with many other states. Running for governor in Colorado requires 4,000 signatures, for example. The system is designed to keep a representative of the people rather than the corporations from emerging.”
“Passage of the Voters' Choice Act (SB 195) can restore democracy to our state.” concluded Glover.
_ Pennsylvania has some of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the United States. These laws require independent and third party candidates to obtain large numbers of signatures to appear on the ballot, whereas their Republican and Democratic counterparts need only a few hundred or thousand (depending on the office, the signature requirement varies).
For example, in 2006, independent and third party candidates were required to collect over 67,000 valid signatures simply to get on the state-wide ballot in Pennsylvania on Election Day. Democratic and Republican candidates required only 2,000 signatures. In a true democracy campaign laws should be equal, or at least fairer.
These laws hinder a “minor party’s” ability to run candidates. Is it any wonder that third parties are succeeding? The current laws make it impossible for any party other than Republican or Democrat to take part fully in state elections.
We urge all Pennsylvanians to support Senate Bill 21 Voters Choice Act which would ease many of the unequal restrictions on independents and third party candidates. This bill is supported by the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition.
The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition, founded in 2005, is an organization of various political parties and individuals working together to support free, fair and open elections in Pennsylvania. The Green Party is a member.
For more information please visit: http://www.paballotaccess.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=53
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