On July 29, a U.S. District Court in Arkansas upheld the vote test that determines whether a party may remain on the ballot automatically or not. Green Party of Arkansas v Daniels, 4:09-cv-695. Fortunately, the Green Party had done another petition for the 2010 election, so it is on the ballot this year anyway. UPDATE: here is the 23-page opinion.
Arkansas removes parties from the ballot if they fail to poll 3% of the vote for the office at the top of the ballot. In presidential years, parties must poll 3% for President; in gubernatorial years, they must poll 3% for Governor. The Arkansas Green Party had polled over 20% for U.S. Senate in 2008, and had elected a state legislator, but that didn’t help to keep the party on the ballot. The party’s presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney, polled less than 3%, so it lost its spot on the ballot and had to re-petition. The petition to get back on takes 10,000 signatures.
No federal court has ever struck down a vote test for a party to remain ballot-qualified, so this was a tough case to win.