The Corner

Elections

Green Party Denied Ballot Access in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

Voters at a polling place at John Jay College in New York, November 6, 2012. (Chip East/Reuters)

Two separate state supreme court rulings in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin this week mean that the Green Party’s presidential candidate will not be on the ballot in either important battleground state.

In a 4–3 decision on Monday, a majority of the Wisconsin supreme court declined to rule on the merits the Wisconsin Election Commission’s decision to deny ballot access, but the majority concluded it was too late to reprint the ballots without causing election chaos.

“Even if we would ultimately determine that the petitioners’ claims are meritorious,” the majority ruled, “given their delay in asserting their rights, we would be unable to provide meaningful relief without completely upsetting the election.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission had split 3–3 along partisan lines on the matter of denying ballot access to the Green Party because of a technicality — two different addresses were given for the party’s vice presidential nominee, who moved during the pandemic.

On Thursday, Pennsylvania’s supreme court disqualified the Green Party over another technicality — that state filing papers were not submitted in person.

In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump carried the state of Pennsylvania by 44,000 votes, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein won 50,000 votes in the state. Trump won by 23,000 votes in Wisconsin, a state where Jill Stein won 31,000 votes. Every potential Green Party vote obviously won’t go to Joe Biden, but keeping the Green Party off the ballot in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania will certainly help Democrats somewhat.

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