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Maryland Green Party to Defend Ballot Access Petition in State’s High Court

Vote Green PartyMaryland Green Party members will be in attendance at the Maryland Court of Appeals in Annapolis on Friday, March 2, 2012 as their ballot access lawsuit goes before the state’s high court. The case of Libertarian Party of Maryland and Maryland Green Party v. State Board of Elections will be heard by the court that morning.

The Green Party filed suit in conjunction with the Libertarian Party in March 2011 after the State Board of Elections rejected thousands of signatures intended to extend the party’s status as a recognized political party. An Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge decided in favor of the parties in June 2011 and ordered them placed on the ballot. The Court of Appeals will hear the Board of Elections’ appeal next Friday.

Green Party members are prepared to begin circulating new petitions to meet the 10,000 signature requirement to extend the party’s ballot status. The Green Party is currently ballot-qualified but will have to collect approximately four thousand new valid signatures if the Court of Appeals rules against the two parties.

“We worked for over a year to collect nearly 15,000 signatures,” notes party co-chair Brian Bittner, “and although the Board of Elections was able to identify significantly more than ten thousand voters who had signed the petition, the majority of them were rejected because they had signed without their middle initial or used a nickname like Bill or Betty. We went to court to win Marylanders’ right to place a new political party on the ballot and eventually vote for those candidates. It will be a major disappointment if that win is overturned and we have to go back out on the streets for more signatures, but we are willing to do that to keep what we have struggled for over the last decade.”

The Maryland Green Party was established as a political party in 2000 and successfully petitioned to maintain its ballot access in 2002 and 2006. Its 2010 petition drive is currently being litigated. The party nominated candidates for U.S. Senate in 2004, 2006, and 2010 and Governor in 2006 and 2010, as well as dozens of other local, state and federal offices. Five members of the party have been elected to city or town councils in Maryland.

“We are preparing to collect signatures once again if the court says we must,” said George Gluck of Rockville, who is seeking the Green Party’s nomination for the U.S. House in the 8th District. “Having more than two candidates to choose from – and more than one in many districts that have been redistricted as safe seats for the incumbents currently in office – is a right too important to lose. We look forward to the day when the right to organize a political party and have access to the ballot is recognized by the Maryland General Assembly and barriers to running for public office are removed.”

The Maryland Green Party is hosting this year’s Green Party Annual National Meeting in Baltimore from July 12-15. The party’s Presidential Nominating Convention will be held July 14th.

For more information, contact info@mdgreens.org or 443-449-4159.

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  1. […] Maryland Green Party to Defend Ballot Access Petition in State’s High Court(onthewilderside.com) […]

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