Green Party of CT Blasts New Confusing Rules That Remove Third Party Candidates

News Release - For Immediate Release - November 17, 2013

Connecticut Green Party
PO Box 231214
Hartford, CT 06123
888-877-8607

Contact:

Tim McKee, National Committee of the Green Party, 203-710-1056

Mike DeRosa, State Co-Chair, 860-919-4042 

Hartford--The Green Party of Connecticut lambasted new confusing laws that might keep some third party candidates off the ballot in local elections this fall. GPCT officials call for complete election reform that treats all candidates equally, and the restoring of all candidates to the local ballots this fall.

“Because local election officials gave candidates different instructions or did not know that third party candidates need to sign their party endorsement letters, many towns kept candidates off the ballots”, explained Tim McKee, of the Green Party National Committee.   He added, “Some candidates have had to go to court to get back on the ballot, while others were denied by the court. All this hurts local candidates' chances to win elections and can cost them money to go to court.”

Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis  rejected a lawsuit filed by petitioning candidates under the Easton Coalition party designation seeking to be placed on the ballot for the November 5, 2013 municipal election, McKee added. But McKee pointed to Judge Edward Domnarski of the Middletown Superior Court, who ruled to permit candidates from the “Chatham Party” to appear on the ballot for the Nov. 5, municipal election in East Hampton, where the “Chatham Party” controls the majority in office.

Mike DeRosa, a co-chairperson of the GPCT, observed that third party candidates already have to petition to gain ballot access, and they face additional petitioning hurdles if they want to qualify for money from the Citizens Election Program (the public financing fund established for races at the state level).  In 2010, the GPCT, along with the Libertarian Party and the ACLU, challenged the excessive signatures for financing as discriminatory, and won portions in the federal court appeal but their appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Recent election laws," said DeRosa, "have been adding regulatory burdens to third-party candidates that are not required of the Democratic and Republican legislators who write these laws.  It really appears that the confusion will hurt other parties with red tape, reduce their competition, and limit voters' choices at the ballot box."

Sources: "Merrill praises decisions by two judges impacting third party candidates," Easton Courier, October 7, 2013

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