The Green Party does NOT have ballot access in Indiana. We’re working on it. See below.
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2021 Legislative Updates
There are a few specific election bills we’re keeping an eye on this legislative session:
Synopsis: “Nomination of candidates. Provides that a candidate for United States Senator, governor, presidential elector, or alternate presidential elector nominated by a convention or by a petition of nomination must have a petition signed by at least 4,500 voters of Indiana, including at least 500 voters from each congressional district requesting the candidate be nominated.”
Our Opinion: Indiana Law currently requires 3rd parties and independents petition for upward of 46,000 hand-written signatures of registered Indiana voters to be on the ballot for a statewide position (electronic signatures not allowed). We were in support the original version of this bill as it would level the playing field for any and all potential candidates to appear on the ballot. HOWEVER, this bill was amended just before leaving the House Committee on Elections and Apportionment to specifically EXCLUDE 3rd parties and independents, meaning the INGP would still have to petition for nearly 10 times the amount of signatures required by other parties just to be on the ballot. With this amendment in place, it’s clear the main point of this bill was not to level the playing field for potential candidates to appear on ballots, but rather to further restrict minor parties (i.e. Libertarians, and likely Greens in years to come) who previously qualified for ballot access and were able to nominate their statewide candidates at their conventions. This bill also requires 3rd parties who have qualified for ballot access submit all of their candidacy forms by the end of January of an election year instead of mid-July, even though these 3rd parties are *still* not allowed to participate in the public Primary Elections in the Spring. We see this as yet another example of blatant election injustice in which lawmakers continue to write election laws in their own favor. Indiana Green Party member, Dr. George Wolfe, testified on behalf of the Indiana Green Party to the House Committee before their vote. You can read Dr. Wolfe’s testimony here, or watch him on the in.gov website here by selecting “Monday, Jan. 25 – 3:30pm” from the “Meetings” drop down, then navigating to 15:30 in the video.
UPDATE: February 1- Due to public demand and strong pressure from 3rd parties, HB 1134 was pulled from the calendar and appears dead. However, we must remain vigilant. We will continue to monitor the legislature to make sure this bill doesn’t get revived or added to another elections bill.
Synopsis: “Ranked choice voting for local elections. Permits a municipality to implement ranked choice voting for all of the municipality’s elected offices. Permits a county to implement ranked choice voting for all offices elected in the county. Permits a school corporation to implement ranked choice voting for election of members of the governing body of the school corporation. Establishes the procedure for a voter to rank the candidates according to the voter’s choice when there are three or more candidates for election to an office. Establishes the procedures to count the voter’s choices as votes at various stages of tabulating ballots. Makes conforming amendments.”
Our Opinion: Once again, the Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) bill that was filed in the Indiana Legislature went completely unheard. This has happened for at least 5 years now. HB1216 would have permitted a municipality to implement RCV for local elections, but we must go further. Ranked Choice Voting would be so beneficial to our democracy that cannot delay in establishing its use statewide, and ultimately nationwide.
Read Our Full Statement Here
Synopsis: “Ballot access for minor parties. Provides that the term “major political party” refers to: (1) with respect to the state, any of the parties whose nominees received more than 2,500 votes statewide for secretary of state in the last election; or (2) with respect to a political subdivision, any of the parties whose nominees received more than 250 votes in that political subdivision for secretary of state in the last election. Provides that a political party whose nominee received at least 2,500 votes but less than 25% of the votes cast for secretary of state at the last election shall nominate the party’s candidates at a state convention and for certain local offices at a county convention. Provides that the petition of nomination for an independent or minor political party must be signed by 250 registered voters in the election district that the candidate seeks to represent.”
Our Opinion: This bill, along with any which would help level the playing field for “minor” parties in Indiana, went completely unheard. Just like the Ranked Choice Voting bill (HB1216), we watch this happen year after year. And simultaneously, we’ve seen no alternative parties on our Indiana ballots since the 1980s. America is supposed to be a shining beacon of democracy in the world, and our election laws should reflect this by ENCOURAGING participation, not limiting it. This consistent closed door policy on outside voices in Indiana is nothing short of an American embarrassment.
In light of the declaration of a state of emergency in Indiana due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the INGP and various local Green groups and candidates made requests to Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, and the Indiana Election Commission to waive the petitioning requirement of signatures for ballot access. You can read many of these requests here:
- Request from the Indiana Green Party (HTML | PDF)
- Request from the Circle City Greens – Green Party of Greater Indianapolis (PDF)
- Request from the Monroe County Green Party (PDF, taken from pages 90-91 of the April 22 Public Comments on the Election Commission’s website)
- Request from Randy Paul, Green Party Candidate in Monroe County (PDF, taken from page 173 of the April 22 Public Comments on the Election Commission’s website)
- Comments from Randy Paul directly to the Election Commission during their April 22 meeting (PDF, taken from pages 17-19 of April 22 Meeting Minutes on the Election Commission’s website)
- Request from Sarah Dillon, former Green Party Candidate in Terre Haute (PDF)
- Request from a concerned Indiana resident (PDF)
- Acknowledgement by Chairman Okeson of requests from the INGP before March 25 (PDF, taken from page 17 of the March 25 Meeting Minutes on the Election Commission’s website)
The Constitution Party of Indiana has also requested the signature requirements be waived for 3rd parties as has been done in other states such as Vermont. (PDF, taken from page 152 of April 22 Public Comments on the Election Commission’s website)
By the end of 2020, all of our requests were ignored and no relief was granted to 3rd parties or independents in Indiana. We had zero candidates on the ballot in 2020 despite fielding six in 2019 and quadrupling our membership since then.
In the 2016 elections- Indiana was 1 of only 6 states nationwide without the Green Party on the presidential ballot. Jill Stein was a registered write-in candidate and received 3,638 votes, placing her 4th, directly behind the 3 parties with ballot access in this state (Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians). We’re actually one of only 4 states that has never been on the ballot for the presidential election, not even when Ralph Nader was running.
In Spring 2018- We attempted to petition for 27,000 signatures to grant us a spot on the ballot, but the Election Division never counted our signatures, so we were forced to continue as a write-in on election day.
In Fall 2018- Our candidate, Dr. George Wolfe, was registered as an official write-in candidate for Secretary of State. We were campaigning for a win, but if we reached at least 2% of the vote, this ultimately would have granted the Indiana Green Party future ballot access automatically for all major positions across the state. The official vote count on from the November 6, 2018 elections showed that the 2% mark was not reached. There were some major inconsistencies with the results, and after prodding the Secretary of State’s office, they added hundreds of votes to the official count after the election. We still believe many were missed. If you had any issues voting for George Wolfe or if your vote did not get counted, please let us know.
In 2019- We fielded 6 candidates across the state in local city-council elections. We again had to petition registered voters within each district for hand-written signatures to be on the ballot in that district.
For the 2020 Presidential Election- We had to petition for nearly 45,000 hand-written, verified signatures of voters across the state by July 2020 to be on the Indiana ballot in November 2020. Petitioning was nearly impossible (and some would say irresponsible) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, let alone the large number of signatures we needed to acquire. We sought relief from these requirements to be on the ballot, but those requests were ignored and we were once again forced to have a write-in campaign for our Green Party Presidential Candidate (note- “Howie Hawkins” was a valid registered write-in candidate in Indiana).
2019 Legislative Updates
Senate Bill 571 progressed through the Indiana legislature to address ballot access laws for political parties in Indiana. This bill would have reduced the 2% threshold down to 0.5% for political parties to attain ballot access and be recognized as an official party with the state. It would have also redefined “major” and “minor” parties under a blanket “standard” political party. Former Indiana Green Party candidate, Dr. George Wolfe, testified to the Indiana Senate Elections Committee in support of this bill in January 2019. The bill was defeated in the state Senate on February 14, 2019, by a vote of 16-31. Read more here:
Senate Bill 306 defines and permits Ranked Choice Voting in the state of Indiana. This bill never advanced in the Senate Elections Committee.
GPUS released a good guide: A Green’s Guide to Getting on the Ballot