State News Release
May 07, 2002

DeRosa for State Senate
Connecticut Green Party

When does ballot status for a candidate change?

Connecticut 1st district Green Party candidate Mike DeRosa found out last week, when Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz informed him that her office had denied his ballot status access for the state's 1st district senate seat because of the state's redistricting. Under Connecticut law, candidates receiving a minimum of 1% of the vote in the previous election gain automatic ballot status. In the last election, DeRosa received 11% of the district vote for State Senator while campaigning against Democratic incumbent John Fonfara.

Faced with petitioning to gain a spot on the 2002 ballot, DeRosa said, "I am disappointed with this decision, but I will not be discouraged by it." He explained that Section 9-372(F/6) and other sections of Connecticut Election Law require the Secretary of State to grant automatic ballot status to any minority party whose candidate receives more than one percent of the vote. "The legal principal for petitioning is that the candidate must show a 'modicum of support' in order to be placed on the ballot. I got eleven percent of the vote in the last election. I think that proves the people in my district want me on the ballot," he explained.

DeRosa added that the Secretary of State's decision will affect the ballot status of every Green Party candidate who ran for the Connecticut General Assembly in the 2000 election, and possibly all petitioning candidates who ran in 2000. Citing the decision as an example of the two major parties writing and interpreting election laws for their own benefit, "The majority of voters are unaffiliated," he stated. "They are not members of either major political party. Yet the election laws make independents and minor party candidates into third class citizens."

Describing the denial of his automatic ballot status as "just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to discriminating against third parties," the candidate cited such examples as the denial of poll checkers and other officials on election day and the denial of Town Registrars of voters for minor parties.

"Through their monopolizing the electoral system, the major parties have set up immense paper barriers against political competition. I intend to address these issues in my campaign," DeRosa promised.

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