Appeal for Waiver of Ballot Access Petitioning Requirement

Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia
Eileen Filler-Corn, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
Justin Fairfax, President of the Senate of Virginia
Robert H. Brink, Chairman of the Virginia Board of Elections

RE: Virginia Ballot Access Petitioning Requirements and COVID-19

The Green Party of Virginia (GPVA) hereby makes a formal request and petition to Virginia
Governor Ralph Northam, the General Assembly, and the Board of Elections to waive the petition of
qualified voters requirement for ballot access in light of the Governor's declaration of a state of
emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collecting ballot petition signatures requires close physical contact on the part of both voters and
petitioners. We are required under state law to obtain at least 5,000 signatures, though experience with
having signatures disqualified leads us to aim for double this number. Gathering this many signatures
requires hundreds of thousands of contacts, which is neither possible nor responsible given the need for
social distancing. Continuing to require these signatures would put petitioners and the general public at
greater risk of the coronavirus for many months. It would also be an injustice for third parties who
would otherwise obtain ballot access to be excluded simply because ensuring public health and safety
also ensures that the arbitrary requirements for obtaining ballot access in Virginia are impossible to

In view of successful petitioning by the GPVA in all recent election cycles our party would likely
achieve ballot access once again this year if not for the pandemic. We have already made serious efforts
to collect petition signatures prior to the state of emergency - efforts which we have halted out of
concern for the public health. Failing to waive this requirement would infringe the right of our party to
participate in the upcoming election. The state of emergency, restrictions on gatherings, and other
limitations designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus should not prevent voters from having a
democratic choice at the ballot box this November.
Whereas a state of emergency has been declared by Governor Ralph Northam, we implore the state
to alleviate the hardship of petitioning under these extenuating circumstances presented by a pandemic
illness and the highly likely resultant loss of ballot access through no fault of our own.

Tina Rockett, GPVA Co-Chair
B. Sidney Smith, GPVA General Secretary
Ryan Wesdock, GPVA Press Secretary