- The N.C. Green Party accuses Democratic groups of "distortions" and "misrepresentations" in an effort to block Greens from the N.C. election ballot.
- The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether to block a lower court order granting ballot access for Green Party candidates.
The N.C. Green Party accuses Democrats of trying “to sow confusion just long enough” to keep Greens off North Carolina’s general election ballot. The accusation is part of a new court filing with the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
The Green Party responded Wednesday to an emergency motion from the N.C. Democratic Party and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The two Democratic groups want the federal Appeals Court to block an Aug. 5 U.S. District Court order guaranteeing Greens a spot on the election ballot.
“[T]he DSCC repeatedly resorts to distortions and misrepresentations in an attempt to convince this Court that the District Court’s Order should be stayed,” wrote Oliver Hall of the Center for Competitive Democracy. He represents the Green Party.
“[T]here has been no genuine dispute between the parties that Appellee North Carolina Green Party (“NCGP”) timely complied with all applicable requirements to qualify as a new political party … and place its candidates on North Carolina’s November 8, 2022 general election ballot,” Hall wrote. “That is why the North Carolina State Board of Elections (“NCSBE”) ultimately certified NCGP as a new political party on August 1, 2022 – albeit following a two-month delay after NCGP timely submitted its petitions on June 1, 2022, which prevented NCGP and its candidates from complying with the July 1 [filing] deadline.”
“It is also why NCSBE – the Defendant in the proceedings below – not only declined to join this appeal, but agreed that the District Court awarded appropriate relief by enjoining enforcement of the July 1 deadline as applied here,” Hall added.
The Greens raise questions about the timing of the Democratic groups’ emergency appeal. “The DSCC does so with full knowledge that NCSBE must finalize its November 8, 2022 general election ballot for printing just two days from now – on August 12, 2022,” Hall wrote.
“The DSCC apparently hopes to sow confusion just long enough for NCSBE’s August 12th ballot-printing deadline to pass, leaving NCGP without a remedy that protects its constitutional right to participate in North Carolina’s 2022 general election,” Hall added. “But the DSCC cannot overcome a threshold problem in pursuing this appeal. It lacks standing where NCSBE – the agency exclusively charged with enforcing North Carolina’s statutory scheme – has declined to appeal and agrees that the District Court properly granted NCGP relief from the July 1 deadline.”
The Green Party points out Democrats’ active efforts to block Greens from the N.C. ballot. The court filing documents Democratic operatives’ interference with Greens’ petition signature process. Despite those efforts, U.S. District Judge James Dever ruled that Green Party candidates would appear on the ballot this fall.
“The DSCC does not and cannot show that the District Court abused its discretion or committed any error of law in reaching these conclusions,” Hall wrote. “It simply attacks NCGP based on false allegations and asserts that NCGP’s ‘inability to achieve certification by July 1 was self-inflicted. …’ That simply is not so.”
“NCGP has surmounted an unprecedented effort to block its access to North Carolina’s November 2022 general election ballot, which was largely if not exclusively orchestrated by the DSCC itself, and it is entitled under North Carolina law and the Constitution to participate in that election,” Hall concluded.
A separate brief from the N.C. State Board of Elections took no stance on the Democratic groups’ emergency motion. The board asked appellate judges to resolve the issue soon. “[T}he State Board respectfully submits that it would aid the administration of elections if the Court were to resolve this motion by August 12.”
That’s the date state election ballots must be finalized to comply with a Sept. 9 deadline for distribution of absentee ballots, according to the state elections board’s filing.
If Greens maintain their ballot spot, they will compete in just two elections. In the state’s most high-profile 2022 race, Matthew Hoh of the Green Party would join Democrat Cheri Beasley, Republican Ted Budd, and Libertarian Shannon Bray in the race for North Carolina’s open U.S. Senate seat.