Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is currently on the ballot in 39 states and the District of Columbia. She still has a shot in 10 of the 11 remaining states, but it’s coming down to the wire in one state.
In addition to the 39 states where ballot access is already secure, the Stein campaign has filed petitions for ballot access in four additional states — New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming — but is awaiting notice from election officials.
In three other states — Georgia, Indiana, and North Carolina — voters will be able to write-in Stein on their ballot.
The campaign also submitted petitions in Nevada and Oklahoma, but fell short of the signature requirements for ballot access during originally filings in those states, according to information available on the official Jill Stein for President campaign website.
The Stein campaign is currently pursuing legal efforts to get on the ballot in those two states.
Oklahoma requires signatures from 40,000 residents for an independent or third-party candidate to get on the ballot, according to the Stein campaign, which did not report how many signatures were submitted in that state.
The campaign claims to have fallen only 400 signatures short in their original petition for ballot access in Nevada.
The campaign failed to secure the 3,000 signatures from registered voters required for ballot access in South Dakota. South Dakota, along with several other states, does not officially allow voters to write-in candidates for president. Write-in votes will most likely go uncounted in those states, according to a recent report by Andrew Cain the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“There is a write-in space on the ballot, but unless the candidate has adhered to proper procedures, those write-ins don’t count,” Martin Mash, confidential policy adviser to the Virginia Department of Elections, told the Times-Dispatch.
In Virginia, “proper procedures” entails filing “a list of 13 electors — the equivalent of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes — one for each of the 11 congressional districts, plus two for the state’s U.S. Senate seats,” Cain writes for the Times-Dispatch.
There’s more to it than that.
Cain notes that “Write-in votes for president and vice president shall be counted only for candidates who have filed a joint declaration of intent to be write-in candidates for the offices with the secretary of the State Board (of Elections) not less than ten days before the date of the presidential election.”
Virginia is far from alone when it comes to having complex requirements for counting write-in votes. According to the Times-Dispatch, about two-thirds of states have similar requirements for presidential write-in campaigns.
The Stein campaign says such restrictive policies for ballot access are the result a two-party political system that seeks to exclude other voices. The campaign website points to North Carolina as being a state in which official ballot access for third-party candidates is particularly difficult.
“The state requires a third party or independent candidate to collect 90,000 petition signatures by May 15 from registered voters just to get on the ballot, while most states require tens of thousands fewer signatures,” reads a post on the Stein website.
In an email sent to supporters Thursday, Jill Stein for President Campaign Chair Gloria Mattera bemoaned “onerous” ballot access laws that make it difficult for third-party candidates to participate in presidential elections.
“In so many states, the Democrats and Republicans pass onerous ballot access laws to keep this two-party system in place — but the polls show that the American people want more choices and more voices,” writes Mattera. “That means having multiple parties on the ballot and in government. We agree — and that is why we work so hard on ballot access.”
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) September 1, 2016
The email implored supporters to help the campaign with their final ballot access drive in Kentucky. The Stein campaign needs to submit 10,000 signatures by September 9 to get on the ballot in the Bluegrass State.
For more information on Jill Stein for President 2016 ballot access, visit the campaign website’s ballot access page.
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]