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Ohio Green Party's 2020 Ballot Access Hinges on 2018 Vote

by Wes Messamore, published

The Green Party of Ohio is working hard to ensure its candidates will have ballot access in 2020 and 2022, or to make it onto general election ballots for the next four years, Green Party candidates will have to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot as independents.

In order to satisfy Ohio's rules for third party ballot access, the Ohio Green Party's candidate for governor this year, Constance Gadell-Newton, a Columbus attorney, must win at least 3 percent of the vote in November, which will assure the party's nominees a place on the ballot for the next four years. In 2014 Anita Rios' Green Party gubernatorial campaign received 101,706 votes, 3.3% of the total for that election, which kept the party ballot-qualified up until now.

In the four years prior to that, the Ohio Green Party retained ballot access after a successful 2010 lawsuit against the state.

In order to help marshal the support necessary to keep Greens on the ballot for 2020 and beyond, Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential nominee in 2016 and 2012, has been traveling through Ohio this week to campaign for Gadell-Newton. During one stop at the Frederick Douglass Community Center in Toledo, Stein encouraged supporters to share her conviction that voters should have more choices than the two party system offers:

"It’s time for more choices, not fewer choices. Stop suppressing the independent third parties, the noncorporate third parties who are representing the everyday people. This is exactly what everyday people are looking for. We need to stand proud and refuse to be silenced. We are not taking away their votes, they should not be taking away ours."

The Libertarian Party of Ohio recently regained its own ballot access this summer by collecting 55,000 signatures (one percent of the vote total in Ohio from the 2016 presidential election). The Libertarian Party is fielding candidates for governor, the U.S. Senate, and the House of Representatives in 2018.

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