Green Party Raising Funds Off Pennsylvania ‘Rigged’ Elections
A recent national Green Party campaign email sent by Philadelphia activist and vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala calls Pennsylvania’s election system “rigged.”
“Today [Pennsylvania] is a state where one major party plots to use new restrictions to keep millions of poor people from voting. And it is the state where the other major party spends a fortune to keep the Greens and other voices off the ballot,” she writes.
Honkala is talking about both the new Voter ID law and a recent tradition of Democrats keeping the Green Party off the statewide ballot, which has happened in several recent elections.
“I don’t accept that Pennsylvania voters will be turned away from the polls, or prevented from voting for the candidates of their choice,” Honkala continues in the message, adding she and Green Party volunteers are currently canvassing Philly for signatures.
In Pennsylvania, third and independent parties are required to collect the number of signatures equal to two percent of the highest vote in the previous election to get on the ballot. This has proven difficult for Greens in recent elections. This year, that number is equal to 20,601 signatures statewide. Members of the party had stated they’d be putting in double that in order to avoid or win legal challenges by the Democratic Party, who often worry the Green Party will siphon votes from them.
One of those Green Party members who was denied ballot access in the past is Carl Romanelli, when he attempted to run for Senate in 2006 against Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Rick Santorum. He is on the front lines of the current effort to get Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala on the statewide presidential ballot.
Romanelli tells PW today that the party is well on its way to filing for ballot access, but stopped short of providing hard numbers.
“I don’t know what the exact number is right now, but I can tell you this: we will be filing a package next week,” he says. “So we’re over the minimum, well over the minimum.”
The last update we got from the Green Party on July 16, GPOP Team Coordinator Hillary Kane estimated they still needed about 20,000 signatures to file to the Pennsylvania Department of State by the August 1 deadline.
Romanelli notes that since Jill Stein won the party’s nomination, support around the state has “been amazing,” and that Honkala’s presence has helped in the signature gathering process, as well.
“We will not be bowing out after any bullying from the old parties,” he says.