As many of you already know the Green Party does not yet have ballot access in Nevada. The process for us to get ballot access isn’t easy and there are several obstacles in our way. I’d like to take a moment here to take a sober and honest look at our options for gaining ballot access in 2020.
The official 2020 Election Guides and Calendars have not been released yet by Nevada’s Secretary of State, so I’ve had to do some of my own number crunching here, but by my estimation we would need to file a petition for ballot access with the Secretary of State by June 19th, 2020, and signed by no less than 9,608 registered voters. Of course, we would actually need to get far more signatures than that to make sure we got the minimum number required. So, let’s take an honest look at what this actually means. To begin, this will be a much larger petition drive than the one done in 2016, which only required 5,431 signatures (and which we ultimately failed to get enough of). So, this campaign is going to require MORE, in every sense of the word; it’s going to cost more, take more time, require more people working on the ground, and more than twice as many signatures. We can also expect a lot of opposition. The electorate is a lot more polarized now than it was in 2016, and may not be as supportive of a third party this time around. And the Democrats will without a doubt pull out all the stops to prevent our getting ballot access. We can expect to see every single signature contested. If we actually get the minimum required number of signatures the Democrats will also likely take us to court to contest our ballot access. The Democrats and their coffers filled with corporate cash have proven themselves to be resourceful and not above using dirty tricks to get their way. Also, in order to make all this effort worthwhile, we would need to put forward a candidate for office who would get at least 1% of the total number of votes cast “for the offices of Representative in Congress” in the 2020 election, that will likely require us to get over 11,000 votes for at least one Green Party candidate in 2020. If we don’t get that, then we will be doing all this over again in 2024.
If all that sounds pretty daunting, let me now get to our biggest single obstacle to ballot access, which is essentially ourselves. The current members of the executive committee of the Nevada Green Party, who are few in number, half of us live in Pahrump (and that distance from Las Vegas we have found matters a lot), most of us have families that we must attend to, and all of us have jobs that keep us very busy. None of us are in a position to take on this job in addition to what we are already doing. The workload that was put on the leadership that was in place during the 2016 election was burnt out by the work and its disappointing result, and we are actively trying to avoid that kind of burnout this time around.
So, with all that in mind, I’m looking for one or more people who are willing to take this challenging task on. Who will be able to coordinate things with those from the Green Party’s Ballot Access Committee, the Green Party presidential campaigns, and local volunteers, and who could move the effort forward. If you feel up to the task, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Please Note: The only other route to getting ballot access for 2020, by the way, would require us to get over 15,000 Nevadans to register with the Green Party by January 1st, 2020, an even more difficult task.
Also, I didn’t want to go into the details of the 2016 ballot access effort in this short blog post, I’ll just suffice to say that we in the executive committee are committed to never allowing another fiasco like that to happen again.