Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tosses Green Party Off State Ballot

September 17, 2020 by Dan McCue
In this Nov. 1, 2018 photo, Green Party gubernatorial candidate, Howie Hawkins, takes part in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Things aren’t exactly coming up roses for the Green Party and its presidential nominee, Howie Hawkins.

For the second time this week a state supreme court has denied the party’s bid for inclusion among the contenders on the November 2020 ballot.

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that would have allowed Hawkins to appear on the ballot.

It said the Green Party candidate for president did not strictly follow procedures for getting on the ballot.

The ruling, by a majority that included all five Democrats on the court, is considered a victory for supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden who feared Hawkins would siphon off just enough potential Biden supporters to hand the state to President Donald Trump in November.

Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 44,292 votes in Pennsylvania in 2016, or less than 1 percentage point. The Green Party’s nominee that year, Jill Stein, drew slightly more votes than that, 49,941.

Democratic party activists challenged what they said were disqualifying irregularities in how the Green Party filed affidavits for the presidential candidate that are supposed to accompany paperwork with at least 5,000 voter signatures to get on the ballot.

Initially, Green Party officials faxed in an affidavit of candidacy for a placeholder candidate — under whose nominal candidacy the party gathered the signatures — by the Aug. 3 deadline. It was submitted separately from the voter signature paperwork, which was delivered by hand.

Hawkins also submitted his affidavit to take the place of the placeholder candidate, a routine procedure used by third parties, given the necessity of gathering signatures before the party formally nominates a candidate.

But the court ruled that the law requires an original copy of the affidavit to be submitted with the signature paperwork.

Because the placeholder candidate didn’t properly submit the affidavit, Hawkins’ affidavit is nullified, the majority opinion said.

The two Republicans on the court disagreed, suggesting that a lower court could have been asked whether to allow the placeholder candidate to immediately submit a substituted, original affidavit.

However, even in dissent, they did not say Hawkins should be allowed on the ballot.

With the end of the case, elections officials can finally start getting ballots printed and mailed to voters.

On Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court lifted a temporary stay on mailing of absentee ballots after considering whether the Green Party presidential candidate should be added.

The decision to leave Hawkins off the ballot set the more than 1,850 election clerks in the state into overdrive as they worked to meet a Thursday deadline in state law to mail ballots to the more than 1 million voters who had requested them so far.

Absentee ballots can be requested until Oct. 29, but election officials have urged voters to act more quickly given the expected large numbers and delays with the mail. 

In The News

Health

Voting

State News

Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Announced
District of Columbia
Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Announced
March 2, 2021
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5.  That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More

Once the Mainstream Model, Michigan GOP Embraces Right Wing
In The States
Once the Mainstream Model, Michigan GOP Embraces Right Wing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More

What NY Prosecutors Could Learn from Trump's Tax Records
In The States
What NY Prosecutors Could Learn from Trump's Tax Records

NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump's tax records.Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for... Read More

Indian Country Gripped by Haaland Hearing for Top US Post
Political News
Indian Country Gripped by Haaland Hearing for Top US Post

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — For Native Americans, Deb Haaland is more than an elected official on track to become the first Indigenous secretary of the Interior Department. She is a sister, an auntie and a fierce pueblo woman whose political stances have been molded by her... Read More

Northam to Sign Death Penalty Repeal Bill
In The States
Northam to Sign Death Penalty Repeal Bill
February 22, 2021
by TWN Staff

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia lawmakers gave final approval Monday to a bill that will end capital punishment in the Commonwealth. The legislation now heads to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he will sign it into law, making Virginia the 23rd state to stop executions.... Read More

Robinhood in the Hot Seat
Congress
Robinhood in the Hot Seat
February 19, 2021
by Victoria Turner

The decision by the online brokerage firm Robinhood to impose restrictions on customer trading at the high point of last month’s online trading frenzy was brought under scrutiny at Thursday’s hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. While Robinhood insists that its decision did not favor... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top