The Green Party is now on enough state ballots nationwide to receive 305 electoral votes in the 2020 election – 270 are needed to win. This puts the Green Party on a potential path for success in the 2020 presidential election.
The news comes after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois made it easier for minor parties that were on the ballot in 2016 and 2018 to be granted ballot access for those same offices. The ruling comes in light of hardships that minor parties would face securing signatures on petitions during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The ruling granted the Green Party relief from ballot access petitioning requirements – this put the party on the general election ballot for major offices like the offices of president and vice president and U.S. Senate.
The ruling stated that minor party candidates must obtain only 10 percent of the original petition requirements, with an extended deadline.
Howie Hawkins, who is currently leading in the primaries for the Green Party presidential nomination, is advocating for the Green Party to be on all ballots across the 50 states and D.C. The Green Party will select its presidential nominee at the 2020 Green National Convention in Detroit, scheduled July 9-12.
“My campaign has a team of lawyers and ballot access activists who are appealing to state governments for relief from street petitioning due to coronavirus physical distancing measures,” Hawkins said. “We are [challenging] states in court if they don’t provide relief.”
As of now, the Green Party is on the ballot in 25 states. He told The Legislative Gazette in an interview, “As a result so far, we have been placed on the ballot in Montana and Vermont, won a court victory in Illinois that put us on the ballot, and are in negotiations about appropriate relief in New Jersey and Maryland. We are working on the other 20 or so states.”
Hawkins believes that, considering President Trump’s response to COVID-19, as well as Biden’s, voters will turn to the Green and Libertarian Parties as an alternative.
He said being on the ballot in enough states to win the electoral college gives voters a well-deserved spectrum of choices in coming debates.
“By that standard, it would likely be a four-way debate: Green, Democratic, Republican, Libertarian.” He continued, “Those would be the full spectrum debates that voters deserve.”