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NY minor parties at risk of losing ballot status

Tom Magnarelli

Several minor political parties in New York are in jeopardy of losing their spot on future election ballots in the state. Recent changes to the state’s election laws require that a party garner either 130,000 votes or 2% of the total votes cast, whichever is higher, to remain on the ballot.

The Green Party presidential candidate, New Yorker Howie Hawkins, only received 0.3% of the votes in the state during last week’s election. The Libertarian and Independence Party lines also received less than 1%.

State lawmakers approved this year changes to the state’s campaign finance system that created this new threshold for parties to access public matching money for candidates. That’s because Gov. Andrew Cuomo has questioned whether taxpayer money should continue to fund parties with “marginal” following.

A federal judge had denied a request by the Green and Libertarian parties to suspend the new rules ahead of Election Day. Their joint lawsuit is ongoing.

The Working Families and Conservative parties had sued and failed to have a rule thrown out before. Both of those parties received enough votes to stay on the New York ballot next year.

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