On November 6, the Arkansas Secretary of State said the Green Party petition is valid, and the party is back on the ballot. This is the first state in which the Green Party has successfully petitioned for party status during 2013. This is the fifth time the party has had to comply with the law, which requires 10,000 valid signatures.
The party finished the petition for 2014 earlier in the election cycle than it has done in the past. This gives it more time to recruit candidates. It elected a state legislator in 2012, and elected another state legislator in 2008.
The reason the party needs to keep petitioning over and over is that the state removes parties from the ballot unless they poll at least 3% for the office at the top of the ticket, every two years. This means 3% for President in a presidential year, and 3% for Governor in a gubernatorial midterm year. Possibly the legislature in 2014 will consider changing the vote test, so that 3% for any statewide race counts. Thanks to Mark Jenkins for this news.
The Green Party is on the ballot for statewide office in 19 states now. It lost its status a few months ago in New Mexico because the Secretary of State reversed an old favorable precedent which had said that when a party submits a petition, it gets the next two elections. The New Mexico Greens petitioned in 2012 so under the old precedent, it would have been on in 2014 as well. The New Mexico Constitution Party is in the same situation, and is trying to raise money to sue to restore the old precedent. If the Constitution Party wins, that would put the Greens back on as well.
The Green Party is in danger of losing its ballot status in Ohio, if the legislature passes SB 193.