Greens may sue for ballot access | Arkansas Blog

Greens may sue for ballot access

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Green Party gubernatorial nominee Jim Lendall did not break the 3 percent vote threshold he needed to secure ballot access for the Greens for the next four years, but the party may sue for ballot access based on the performance of its other statewide candidates, all of whom got over 3 percent of the vote.

Mark Swaney, coordinator for the Green Party of Arkansas, told the Arkansas Times that the party "is seriously considering some litigation."

"Just look at the principles of the situation," Swaney said. "The federal government has only recognized a single state purpose for making any law barring ballot access, and that purpose is showing a modicum of support."

Swaney cited last August's decision in U.S. district court saying Arkansas could not have a different standard for third parties and independent candidates in awarding ballot access based on the number of petition signatures collected. That's how the Green Party won ballot access this year.

He said the same principle applies in determining ballot access based only on the race for governor. "How can you say, 'Well, one candidate didn't get 3 percent' when the other five candidates got it?"

The Green Party fielded candidates for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor and land commissioner, and all received at least 3 percent of the vote. Their candidate for land commissioner, R. David Lewis, actually received almost 18 percent.

Swaney said their legal action would be similar to an ongoing case filed by the Green Party in Alaska.

While he cautioned that "nothing has been decided," he said the litigation is "very likely."

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