Contact: Virginia Rodino
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2020
Maryland Green Party remains a choice for voters this election, submits nearly 50% more signatures than required for ballot access
(Annapolis, MD) The Maryland Green Party submitted 1900 signatures to the State Board of Elections in Annapolis on Monday. This was a second collection of signatures turned in by the Party, adding to 5400 previously submitted signatures. In total, the Maryland Green Party submitted 2300 more than the required 5000 signatures in its successful effort to attain ballot access, with 4700 of those signatures already having been validated.
Tim Willard, Maryland Green Party Co-chair remarked, "I am very happy to announce that the Green Party has turned in enough signatures to regain our ballot status in Maryland. It was an especially difficult process this year with the pandemic but we were able to pioneer a method of collecting signatures online that included a paper trail to ensure that all of the signatures were legitimate. This shows the desire of Marylanders to have electoral choices beyond the two corporate parties that have consistently proven unable to meet the needs of working families in our state."
The Maryland Green Party began collecting signatures of registered Maryland voters in January 2019. Because of the problems the COVID-19 pandemic posed, the party filed a federal lawsuit and was successful in arguing its case, convincing the state to accept 5,000 rather than its usual requirement of 10,000 signatures for the Green Party to be available as a choice on the ballot for Maryland voters. The Maryland Board of Elections’ ability to adapt and accept electronic signatures has facilitated the democratic tools we have as voters in the state, and can serve as a model for the nation if it is allowed to become a permanent part of signature gathering.
Congressional District 6 Green Party candidate George Gluck thanked all those who petitioned under difficult conditions, as well as Marylanders who signed and verified the party’s online petition. “This effort has made it possible for me to run again as the Green Party candidate. In an era where citizens are looking to escape the ‘normal’ we have experienced since 2008, I look forward to continuing to bring fresh ideas to CD 6 voters as the 2020 campaign progresses.”
District 12 Baltimore City Council Green Party candidate Franca Muller Paz, a teacher and building representative of the Baltimore Teachers Union exclaimed, “Thanks to the hard work and deep organizing of our campaign's 160+ volunteers, we played a big part in getting the Maryland Green Party the amount of signatures we needed to get on the ballot. Like our fundraising strength -- having raised $21k in donations in 21 days -- our ability to get Marylanders energized to support the Green Party ballot access drive is another sign of the deep support and energy we have for our people-powered campaign and community-centered policies."
Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins said, "Ballot access signature requirements in the United States are already many multiples higher than other electoral democracies around the world. The coronavirus pandemic made the job doubly difficult this year. Thanks goes to the volunteers who worked so hard to overcome these obstacles that are designed to keep competition to the two-party corporate state out of elections. Maryland could become a model for ballot access for the nation with this breakthrough in electronic petitions. Now Maryland voters will be able to vote for the only presidential ticket supporting Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and peace initiatives to end the endless wars and the new nuclear arms race.”
The Maryland Green Party expects to hear this week that its local, state and national candidates will be included on the ballot.