The Green Party of New Jersey condemns the ballot challenges brought forth by Rob Sherman, member of the Green Party of Cook County, Illinois

Illinois, like many other states, requires “minor party” candidates such as candidates from the Green and Socialist Parties to collect far more signatures to appear on the ballot than either the Democrats or Republicans.  This year in Illinois, on the last day for filing petitions, Mr. Sherman, member of the Green Party of Cook County, challenged the petitions of the Socialist and Constitution parties’ candidates for president.  The Green Party of New Jersey clearly and unequivocally rejects Mr. Sherman’s anti-democratic actions.  The Green Party of New Jersey supports more options on the ballot and stands against restrictive ballot access laws. Such unequal ballot access laws should be rejected rather than implicitly propped up by challenges such as Mr. Sherman’s.

Illinois, like many other states, requires “minor party” candidates such as candidates from the Green and Socialist Parties to collect far more signatures to appear on the ballot than either the Democrats or Republicans.  This year in Illinois, on the last day for filing petitions, Mr. Sherman, member of the Green Party of Cook County, challenged the petitions of the Socialist and Constitution parties’ candidates for president.  The Green Party of New Jersey clearly and unequivocally rejects Mr. Sherman’s anti-democratic actions.  The Green Party of New Jersey supports more options on the ballot and stands against restrictive ballot access laws. Such unequal ballot access laws should be rejected rather than implicitly propped up by challenges such as Mr. Sherman’s.

Unequal ballot access laws effectively silence political representation outside of a binary choice. As Green Party members, we frequently condemn the actions of the Democratic Party when they make these cynical challenges on our petitions.  These challenges force us to waste resources, which would otherwise be used to spread our message of ecology, grassroots democracy, peace, social justice, and to defend our right to be on the ballot.  Instead of standing up for principles of democracy, Mr. Sherman,also a current candidate, has cynically attempted to close off choices from voters in November.  Such actions weaken our position when we campaign against these same anti-democratic actions by the two corporate parties.  The Green Party of New Jersey supports more options on the ballot and stands against restrictive ballot access laws that silence independent political representation.

It is particularly disturbing that Mr. Sherman chose to challenge the Socialist Party’s petition to appear on the ballot.  The National Committee of the Green Party of the United States recently voted overwhelmingly in favor of amending our platform to expressly reject capitalism.  The Green Party of New Jersey has also worked together in the past with the Socialist Party of New Jersey and intends to continue that relationship into the future.  Actions such as Mr. Sherman’s undermine our working relationship and frame us as competitors when we should be working together against the restrictive access to ballots created by the two parties of corporate capitalism.

The Green Party of New Jersey clearly and unequivocally stands opposed to Mr. Sherman’s actions and urges other Green Parties to stand with our allies in the Socialist Party and against the anti-democratic actions of this individual.

For More Information:

Julie Saporito-Acuña, GPNJ Chairperson: gpnjchair@gmail.com

Mike Mangels, GPNJ Vice-Chair: mikemangels.gp@gmail.com

Jim Brash, GPNJ Media Committee: Jimmy.brash@yahoo.com


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