A worker at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, North Carolina, prepares absentee votes for shipping in this file photo from September 3, 2020.
Author: Gerry Broome In a decision that could put the Green Party’s U.S. Senate candidate on the ballot in November in one of the most competitive races in the country, the North Carolina Board of Elections agreed on Monday to certify the Green Party as a political party in the state.
The election for Democratic former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley, who is in a tight race against Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, might get more complicated if a federal judge finds next week that Matthew Hoh can be placed on the ballot.
Many Democrats have in the past accused Green Party presidential candidates of stealing votes from losing candidates like Al Gore in 2000 and Hillary Clinton in 2016. Which party controls the Senate may be determined by the North Carolina election.
FRAUDULENT ELECTION SIGNATURES The authenticity of the Green Party’s signatures on a petition drive needed to get on the state ballot has been contested by national Democrats.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s legal counsel, The Elias Law Group, backed the efforts of a former state Democratic Party official who objected to the Green Party petition. Jacquelyn Lopez, an attorney with the Elias Law Group, wrote the Board of Elections on Friday to request that it not recognize the Green Party.
Lopez claimed that the Green Party petition contained “widespread fraud” and argued that the state shouldn’t “provide the benefit of the doubt” to the group.
On June 30, the Board of Elections voted 3-2 against certifying the Green Party. The three Democrats on the board cast their votes against certification, while the two Republicans cast their votes in favor.
The Green Party’s signatures might be fake, according to the board’s executive director Karen Brinson Bell, who was selected by the state’s democratic governor. Despite the fact that the Greens will miss the deadline of July 1 to announce their candidates for the fall, she insisted that the state needed additional time to investigate.
The Green Party expressed outrage over the party-line vote, alleging the Democrats were attempting to defend Beasley.
The Board of Elections announced on Monday that additional signatures had been evaluated by local county elections boards, in addition to an investigation by its own staff. The board reported that it discovered 481 more signatures that were probably invalid, either because the signatures didn’t match or because they were submitted after the deadline. (Hoh confessed that the party employed a contractor who submitted what he calculated to be about 200 forged signatures.)
The authorities, however, claimed that the Green Party still possessed more than 1,600 legitimate signatures above the necessary 13,865 total.
The Green Party was thereafter approved by the board.
NEVER AN ELECTION DECISION But the Greens missed that deadline of July 1 due to the state’s probe. On August 8, a federal judge will rule on whether the state may allow the Green Party to appear on the ballot.
The Board of Elections announced on Monday that the Greens can be physically placed on the ballot.
Democratic Board of Elections Chair Damon Circosta said the board “spent a great deal of time getting it correct. Politics was never a factor in the choice.”
Hoh, a senatorial candidate for the Green Party, stated that he anticipates Democrats to question his ability to compete in November.
We anticipate that to continue, he added. “For the rest of this campaign, which is their campaign, we will have to defend ourselves against baseless accusations. They act in this manner.”
In fact, the North Carolina Democratic Party said it would launch a lawsuit “to safeguard the integrity of the North Carolina political process” on Monday after criticizing the board’s decision.
Shannon Bray, a libertarian, is also running.