Instructions for petition gathering
To Hand Sign the Petition to Renew the Green Party's Ballot Access in Maryland:
1) Download the Printable Petition Form. If you can not access a printer or otherwise complete the petition due to the Corona Virus.
2) Sign your printed petition form, including
- Your full legal name including any middle names - for example if your legal name is "Steven Martin Murray", writing "Steve Murray" won't count!
- Your signature - watch out! A lot of people misread the form and start filling out the address in this box.
- Your full address where you are registered to vote, for example "123 My St, Apt 9, Baltimore 21213"
- Your date of birth
- The date of signature (today's date when you sign the form)
3) Collect signatures from anyone else you safely can up to five people can sign each form and there is no limit to the number of signatures you can collect.
4) Sign the Circulator's Affidavit at the bottom of the form. You must fill in every line every line of this including your name, address, phone number, signature, and date of signature. If you don't do this, NONE of the signatures on the form will be counted!
5) Mail your completed forms to the following address:
Tim Willard, Green Party
P.O Box 217
Kensington, MD 20895
Venue. Choose a well-attended event. A sidewalk in front of a busy store or library can be good but generally not the best as people will be in too much of a hurry to stop and sign the petition. Weekly events such as farmers markets can be a better venue. People will not be less rushed and more open to signing. Festivals and outdoor events during the summer can be very good places to petition.
It can be helpful to set a target for how many signatures you want to collect each time or how long you intend to collect signatures. It is important to set a pace that you can sustain. Going out every week or every other week will gain more signatures than a few all-day efforts.
Approaching people. Leaving a petition sheet on a table will not gain many signatures; people must be approached. This can be difficult if you are not experienced because you must invade people’s personal space to ask them to sign and that can be uncomfortable. It is important to ask potential signers if they are Maryland voters; sometimes they will be from out of state, and they MUST be registered to vote in Maryland. Asking them to sign can have several approaches: as a ballot access issue; as something that the Green Party has to do every four years to keep us on the ballot; and as giving people another choice. See what works best for you.
Requirements for the signature. The most important thing to prevent the State Board of Elections (SBE) from rejecting a signature is that the person’s full first name, any middle initials, and last name be included. This can be in the printed name, the signature, or some combination of both. This is a result of a lawsuit by the Democratic Party some years ago that got a court to rule that the law should be interpreted literally.
If the signer’s address is different than where they are registered, they should put their current address. The SBE will use the information to update the registration.
See the instructions to county Board of Elections for more information on what is required.