The Green Party of Virginia (GPVA) today announced that it will be moving to a write-in campaign for its presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, due to insufficient petition signatures of qualified voters for ballot access. This will be the first time in sixteen years that there will not be a Green Party presidential ticket printed on the ballot in Virginia.
The GPVA and other third parties had sued the Department of Elections for the removal of the signature requirement entirely, however, the court ruling merely reduced the required number of signatures from 5,000 to 2,500. Generally, third parties need multiple times that number of signatures in order to qualify, as some signatures are declared invalid by the Department of Elections.
"The Virginia Department of Elections and the Fourth Circuit Court refused our request to waive in-person petitioning requirements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Democratic Governor Ralph Northam's stay-at-home order," said GPVA Co-Chair Ryan Wesdock. "The result now is that Virginians across the state, despite our best efforts, will be denied their right to vote for a party of their choice come November."
GPVA Co-Chair Tina Rockett added, “The state of Virginia failed to follow its own mandate to allow us to uphold the “Safer at Home” measures as directed by Gov. Northam. Our First and Fourth Amendment rights and those of our fellow Greens and allies have been violated by undemocratic and irresponsible ballot petition requirements by the state, but we will not be silenced!"
GPVA Press Secretary Blaizen Bloom further added, "You can help prevent this affront to democracy from happening in future elections by writing-in Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker this November for President and Vice-President. By doing so, you will be taking a stand to end the corporate 2-party system and supporting the only national, corporate-free, progressive candidates running for president. In addition, your vote will count towards our goal of achieving at least 5% of the national popular vote, which will help us to achieve automatic ballot access and up to $20 million in public federal funding next presidential election."