Massachusetts Green Party Expects to Regain Qualified Status This Year

Massachusetts currently has no ballot-qualified parties, other than the Democratic and Republican Parties. Massachusetts requires parties to poll 3% for any statewide race, every two years.

The Green Party will run nominees this year for Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Auditor, and is highly likely to poll 3% for at least one of these races, if not all three. See this story. Those offices only require 5,000 signatures.

Having qualified party status in a presidential year is valuable, because in 2009 the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that stand-ins are not permitted on minor party and independent candidate petitions. Therefore, if a minor party doesn’t have qualified status in a presidential year, it can’t start to petition until it has chosen its presidential and vice-presidential nominees, and the petition, which requires 10,000 signatures, is due on August 2, 2016. Obviously, if a party has qualified status, it need not petition for president and can tell the state as late as September who its presidential and vice-presidential nominees are.

Massachusetts also has a procedure for an unqualified party to become ballot-qualified in advance of any particular election, but it is so difficult, it has never been used. It has existed since 1990 and requires the group to obtain registration membership of 1% of the state total.


Massachusetts Green Party Expects to Regain Qualified Status This Year — No Comments

  1. actually Massachusetts had a Senate election in 2012 (Warren/Scott Brown), it’s just that they didn’t run a candidate there. Same applied to 2008 (Kerry/sacrificial lamb). In both years, they didn’t poll above 0.7% for President. So if 3% is the requirement, I don’t know how they kept access after 08 either. Unless the rules changed

    Massachusetts won’t have any office on the ballot except President in 2016 though

  2. Are any other minor parties fielding candidates for statewide offices other than Governor? I know Evan Falchuk made some noise with the party he created. Are the Libertarians trying to regain ballot access in Massachusetts?

  3. Evan Falchuk will probably poll more than 3% for Governor, which will give qualified status to his United Independent Party. There is an influential member of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party who has a deep-seated revulsion to making the Libertarian Party ballot-qualified, because it is so difficult for a ballot-qualified party to nominate candidates in its own primary, for office other than president.

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