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Arizona Green Party: Lawsuit filed over election statute and fake candidates

Activists of the Arizona Green Party collectin...

Arizona Green Party activists collecting ballot access signatures

Arizona Republican Party operatives recruited fake candidates to run on the Green ballot line in the 2010 election

Today the Arizona Green Party filed its second lawsuit of this past year against the State of Arizona over statutes which arbitrarily treat our party differently than other political parties in Arizona, in ways that violates the US constitution.  Both lawsuits are, of necessity, filed against multiple defendants, of which the first named is Ken Bennett, in his capacity as Secretary of State.  The first lawsuit was ruled in our favor in federal court, after a hearing in January of this year, but both lawsuits bear the caption Arizona Green Party v Bennett.

Today’s lawsuit requests the invalidation of a statute which creates a separate but unequal category of political party, that applies only to the Arizona Green Party, in a way that mocks our substantial and consistent efforts for two decades, against unreasonable barriers, to provide the voters of Arizona with meaningful alternatives to politics as usual

Anyone can run for office in the Party of their choosing, if they get enough signatures to show a decent level of support within the Party.  Or they can run as a write-in candidate, and get the same number of write-in votes .  The signatures or votes of party members is the “permission” that the party gives for them to be our candidates .  Or, at least, that is the way that it is for other political parties.  But ARS 16-645 creates a special category of political party, that only the Green Party fits into, where an individual doesn’t have to get permission or support from anybody else in the party.  They can wait til the last minute to sign up as a write-in, and vote for themselves in the primary, and they get their name listed on the general election ballot as a Green Party candidate.

We want the ref to blow the whistle.  We in the Arizona Green Party want our team to play by the same rules as other teams, and not have somebody in the stands deciding to be a player on our team.  And especially not have our opponents recruiting field-rushers, handing them a uniform, and sending them out to disrupt a fair game.

So we are going to court, demanding the fairness that the US Constitution grants us, and putting a stop to sham candidates and special rules.  Because we already HAVE a team, of real candidates, endorsed by us, who followed the rules, and gathered their signatures twice already– once from the general public to be a recognized political party, and a second time from party members, to show that Greens support their candidacy, and support the message they will be running on, in trying to offer the public new and better ideas than they can find elsewhere.  Or old, forgotten ideas, like fair-play and Constitutional rights.

The relief asked for in the lawsuit is:

1. declaring that ARS 16-645 D is unconstitutional both on its face, and as applied to the Arizona Green Party.

2, applying the same requirements to our party as are applied to all other recognized political parties

3. preliminarily and permanently restraining all the election officials, in their official capacity, from placing any names of unendorsed write-in candidates on the ballot

4. paying our lawyers.

The Arizona Party is proud to showcase our endorsed candidates:

• Jerry Joslyn: U.S. Senate
• Kent Solberg: State Representative (LD 27)
• Linda Macias: State Representative (LD 21)
• Angel Torres: State Representative (LD 16)
• Luisa Valdez: State Representative (LD 15)
• Justin Dahl: State Representative (LD 12)
• Gregor Knauer: State Representative (LD 17)
• Rebecca DeWitt: U.S. Congress (CD 4)

See also:

“AZGP announces endorsed candidates for 2010 elections”
Arizona Green Party press release, August 24, 2010
http://azgp.org/content/arizona-green-party-azgp-press-release-azgp-announces-endorsed-candidates-2010-elections

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