RALEIGH — A fourth political party may appear on some of this year’s ballots: The N.C. Green Party. A 2017 state law, Senate Bill 656, makes it easier for third parties to get their candidates on the ballot. Senate Bill 656 reduced the number of signatures required for third parties to get on the ballot, but it also created an alternative for parties with ballot access elsewhere. Any party that appeared on ballots in at least 70 percent of states in the last presidential election can apply for automatic access in North Carolina.
Since the law change wasn’t official before candidate filing ended, the Green Party will nominate its candidates for legislature, Congress and other offices during its convention in July.
The new State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement said the Green Party appears to be the only new party that meets the 70 percent requirement.
Jan Martell, co-chair of the N.C. Green Party, said the application was submitted at the beginning of the year.
“As a new party, we don’t participate in the primaries but choose our candidates by convention, probably in July.”
The Green Party is a left-leaning, environmentalist party that promotes “grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom, non-violence, social justice and equal opportunity.”
So far, six other parties have filed paperwork to begin collecting signatures: the Constituent Party, the Constitution Party, the Progressive Party, The People’s Party, the Veterans Party and the Whig Party.