On the Wilder Side
Despite overly restrictive ballot access hurdles, the Green Party intends to be on the Texas General Election ballot this Fall. In the face of these restrictions, the Green Party of Texas has launched a controversial digital petition drive to reach eligible voters and draw attention to the absurdity and unconstitutionality of these laws that restrict voter choice and reasonable access to the ballot.
Texans can support ballot access and reforms by participating in the Green Party’s month-long Texas Digital Earth Day event online at txgreens.org/earthday through May 23, 2010.
“The ballot access laws in Texas are designed to limit democracy and to discourage people from actively participating in the political process,” declared Co-Chair Dr. Christine Morshedi. “In the past we have asked the state legislature to make modifications to the laws in various ways,” Morshedi continued, “but the corporate parties have made it clear that they do not want competition in November.”
The State of Texas maintains one of the nation’s most restrictive ballot-access policies. Currently, a political party seeking a place on the ballot must gather 44,000 valid signatures before the Texas Secretary of State will recognize it as an official political party. To further complicate the process, Texas requires that signatures be gathered during a very narrow time period of 75 days, and only registered voters who did not vote in the primary are eligible to sign. This “primary screen-out” provision is exclusive to Texas. All other states that previously had this provision have declared it unconstitutional.
“We want all registered voters in Texas to have more options in November than just the corporate-money- sponsored parties and their candidates,” said Co-Chair Thomas Muhammad. “Folks need to have faith that their elected officials will act in the public’s best interest. Those now in office have not done enough to deserve such trust,” Muhammad continued.
Morshedi concluded: “Power is rarely surrendered without struggle. We ask for all Texans, regardless of their political affiliations, to support a political process that is truly democratic. Help us show that we are not afraid of choices and we are not afraid of liberty!”
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