The Massachusetts petition deadline for independent candidates, and the nominees of unqualified parties, for U.S. House and statewide office was July 29. The only unqualified parties that submitted petitions in Massachusetts for statewide office this year are the United Independent Party (which is running for Governor and Lieutenant Governor) and the Green Party (which is running for Secretary of the Commonwealth, Treasurer, and Auditor).
The Green slate submitted 4,700 signatures that have already been validated by town clerks, and another 3,000 signatures that are about to be checked. For the offices the Green Party is running for, 5,000 signatures are needed, so the drive is extremely likely to succeed. The United Independent Party, which needed 10,000 to run for Governor, earlier submitted more than 10,000 verified signatures.
A group that polls at least 3% for any statewide office then gains qualified party status, and will automatically on the 2016 ballot. Unfortunately, qualified parties also face very difficult petitions for their members to get on their own party’s primary ballot, but at least qualified parties are automatically on the ballot for president, and also their candidates for president have very easy access to their own party’s presidential primary ballot. Also, qualified parties are listed on the voter registration form. Voters can also register into unqualified parties, but an applicant must write-in the name of an unqualified party on the voter registration form to register into it.