Voters in 4 political parties lose ballot status

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 January 2021 at 8:56 am

Independence, Green, Libertarian and Serve America Movement all knocked off the ballot

Four political parties in New York State – Independence, Green, Libertarian and the Serve America Movement – did not have enough votes in the last general election to remain a political party with a ballot line.

The state used to have a 50,000-vote threshold to allow ballot status for political parties. But that was changed to a 130,000-vote minimum in December 2019. The presidential election in November was the first with the new higher threshold.

The four parties all missed the mark and don’t have ballot status. The Orleans County Board of Elections has sent letters to registered voters in three of the parties (Green, Libertarian and Independence) advising them their parties no longer have ballot status and won’t be able to participate in a primary going forward. (The Serve America Movement doesn’t have registered voters in Orleans County.)

In Orleans County, the Board of Elections sent letters to 863 registered voters in the Independence Party, 120 in the Libertarian Party and 63 in the Green Party.

Those voters can remain in those parties but their enrollment will be changed to either OTHER-INDEPENDENCE, OTHER-LIBERTARIAN or OTHER-GREEN.

Registered voters in those parties could have the parties appear on the ballot but they would have to submit petitions and meet a signature threshold to have a candidate run as an independent, which would appear on the bottom of a ballot, and not be listed with candidates on parties with ballot status.

The parties with ballot status include Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Working Families. If registered voters in Orleans County from the Green, Libertarian and Independence want to switch to a party with ballot status and participate in a potential primary in June, they need to send a change of enrollment form to the Board of Elections by Feb. 14. Any enrollment change received after Feb. 14 will be effective on June 29.