Partisan Mischief: North Carolina Democrats Vote to Block Third-Party Candidates from Ballots

In a contentious move, North Carolina Democrats on the State Board of Elections have voted to block the Green Party and other third-party candidates from appearing on the November ballot. The decision, made along party lines, has sparked significant controversy and accusations of voter disenfranchisement.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections denied petitions from the Green Party and other groups attempting to secure ballot access for candidates like Robert Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West. The board's decision followed intense efforts by Democrats to prevent third-party candidates from potentially siphoning votes away from their candidates​​.

Supporters of the Green Party have reported receiving misleading and harassing calls, allegedly from individuals posing as Green Party representatives, urging them to remove their names from petitions supporting third-party ballot access. Matthew Hoh, a Green Party candidate, stated that these callers misrepresented themselves and pressured voters to disavow their signatures under false pretenses​.

Hoh also noted that some of these calls came from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which cross-referenced petition signers' information with Democratic Party databases to obtain their phone numbers. This strategy extended to in-person visits, where operatives continued to press signers to withdraw their support, a tactic described by Hoh as "harassment and bullying"​​.

In a statement, the DSCC justified its actions by citing concerns over potential fraud in the petition-gathering process. They pointed to the involvement of a firm with a history of fraudulent activities, although Hoh countered that the firm was only briefly employed and its signatures were not part of the final count submitted for certification​.

The Democrats' efforts to block third-party candidates reflect a broader strategy to maintain electoral control in a state where every vote can be crucial. North Carolina, a battleground state, has seen increasing efforts by both major parties to limit the influence of smaller parties that could impact the outcome of tightly contested races​.

Critics argue that these actions undermine democratic principles by restricting voter choice and suppressing political diversity. The controversy has intensified as the midterms approach, with Democrats facing challenges on multiple fronts, including economic issues and the fallout from recent Supreme Court decisions​​.

This case highlights the ongoing struggle for third-party recognition and the lengths to which established parties will go to protect their interests. As Hoh emphasized, the right to third-party participation is crucial for a healthy democracy and should not be stifled by partisan maneuvers​ ​.