Maryland voters will have more options this November – and Democrats will face a little more competition – after the Maryland Green Party’s petition for ballot access won state approval today.
Their names now appear on the Maryland State Board of Elections 2020 General Election Candidate’s List.
Collecting enough signatures to get on the ballot during the coronavirus pandemic this year has been difficult for third parties and other petitioners, who have traditionally obtained them by going door-to-door or at public events.
The Green and Libertarian parties sued the state in U.S. District Court for a lower signature requirement – from 10,000 to 5,000 – and in June they won. In April, the Maryland State Board of Elections (SBE) allowed a more accessible electronic signature system which, in the past, required voters to print and sign.
The Greens submitted more than 7,300 signatures to SBE before the August 3 deadline, a cushion that kept them well above the minimum after SBE struck some off the list.
With about 100 ballots left to count, former Maryland Green Party co-chair Andy Ellis said more than 6,100 had been approved.
The approved petition means Maryland voters will see local and national Green Party candidates on their November ballots.
In Baltimore, teacher and activist Franca Muller Paz is challenging 12th District City Councilman Robert Stokes and Republican Eugene Z. Boikai.
Muller Paz told The Brew her campaign would likely raise $40,000 by tonight’s fundraising deadline.
That may be enough to compete – shortly before the June primary, Stokes reported $39,000 on hand.
In the 6th Congressional District, which includes much of Montgomery County and Western Maryland, the Green Party’s George Gluck joins Republican Del. Neil Parrott in attempting to unseat incumbent Democratic Congressman David Trone.
Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, the Green Party’s candidates for president and vice president, will also appear on Maryland ballots.