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    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook on Amazon

    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook

    Reflections on Occupy Wall Street, with photos, fun, and good wishes for the future. eBook, Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? (Only $.99 !) In the eBook, the Occupy movement is explored through original reporting, photographs, cartoons, poetry, essays, and reviews.The collection of essays and blog posts records the unfolding of Occupy into the culture from September 2011 to the present.  Authors Kimberly Wilder and Ian Wilder were early supporters of Occupy, using their internet platforms to communicate the changes being created by the American Autumn.

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NC Green & Libt Parties suit for Fair Ballot Access goes to Trial 5/5/08

The North Carolina Green Party and the North Carolina Libertarian Party are suing the state for less restrictive ballot access laws. North Carolina ranks as the third worst state in the nation for open ballot
access. This means that third parties and candidates are essentially kept out of elections. The case will be heard on Monday, May 5 in NC Superior Court, 2 East Morgan St. Room 10-B, in Raleigh.

To gain ballot access, the right to be recognized as a political party and have their candidate’s name printed on the ballot, a “third” party must gather 69,734 verified signatures to a petition during each
election cycle. During this process, about 1 in 4 signatures is deemed invalid by the county boards of elections due to non-matching addresses, failure to provide a birth date, illegibility, or other reasons. That means that in reality, they must gather over 100,000 signatures to meet this threshold.

This is an almost unreachable goal for small, new parties trying to pursue petition drives through volunteer efforts. Success is only achievable by hiring paid petitioners at at least $100,000 per election cycle. This is a high price to pay to participate in a democracy.

Other Southern States have much more reasonable requirements which have not led to a proliferation of frivolous third parties, as some legislators have predicted. Tennessee parties need only 25 signatures;
Louisiana 5,000, or $500; Florida only a letter to the Secretary of State; and Arkansas has set the bar at 10,000 signatures, the same level North Carolina required until the law was changed in 1981.

In their suit against the state, Greens and Libertarians are challenging the constitutionality of the NC ballot access laws. The ACLU is representing the NC Green Party and the plaintiffs are calling for the law
to be thrown out entirely. They maintain also that NC law discriminates in broader ways to discourage alternative political voices. Inability to run candidates for office in partisan races closes the main door to
party growth; severe limitations on donations which mainstream parties do not have, combined with the costs of petitioning drives, leaves no budget for even nonpartisan races; and only Democrats and Republicans may serve on Boards of Elections.

More choices are better for our democratic system. In the history of this country, the third parties have always been the ones to bring new ideas into the political arena, ideas that we now take for granted such
as abolition and women’s suffrage and labor rights. Just because those ideas started with one or ten or fifteen people doesn’t make them or the group that espoused them any less legitimate.

Opening the political process to participation by alternative voices will cost little more than an extra line of type on the printed page. Restricting and suppressing these voices represents countless hours of
taxpayer paid time counting petition signatures, hashing and rehashing issues in the General Assembly, and defending the laws in court. Easing access to the ballot is a win-win proposition for North Carolinians.

2 Responses

  1. […] GNA wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpttaxpayer paid time counting petition signatures, hashing and rehashing issues in the General Assembly, and defending the laws in court. Easing access to the ballot is a win-win proposition for North Carolinians. […]

  2. Help the Green Party get on the ballot in North Carolina and across the nation!

    Donate at http://www.tinyurl.com/6pnrr4/
    Find out more at http://www.gp.org

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