GPNYS Blasts Ballot Bandits as "OTB Thursday" Looms

NEW YORK (July 15, 2015)—The Green Party of New York State (GPNYS) has launched a "Wall of Shame" page to name Democrats and Republicans who are attempting to sneak their way onto the third party's hard-won ballot line. Seven candidates submitted designating petitions for the Green Party line last week, even though they had no "Wilson-Pakula" authorization from the GPNYS leadership.

"New York's 'fusion' ballot law, along with other arcane statutes, have caused politicians to take a 'Pokemon' approach to party nominations: 'gotta catch 'em all!'", said GPNYS Co-Chair Gloria Mattera. "The idea that a candidate's platform should match up with a party's ideology seems entirely foreign to them."

GPNYS rules forbid lending their ballot line to Democratic and Republican candidates, along with candidates of parties who do cross-endorse Republican and Democrats.

While it is strange that non-party members would take the time to collect and submit petitions without any indication of a party authorization, GPNYS has been assured by county boards of elections that those petitions will indeed be thrown out.

"Fielding requests for endorsements from candidates who have no idea what we are about is an annual annoyance, but the real threat comes from the ridiculous Opportunity to Ballot provision that allows corporate candidates to steal our ballot line outright," said Mattera.

So-called "OTB" petitions are due to be filed tomorrow (Thursday, July 16). OTB can force a write-in primary if a party nomination is not contested. Anyone eligible to run for the office, no matter what party affiliation, can win the primary and become the party's nominee.

"OTB obviously exists to allow the corporate parties to raid the ballot lines of newer ballot status parties, like us" Mattera said. "By registering a few interns or relatives to vote as Green, they think they can walk away with our line."

GPNYS says OTB relies on the public's unfamiliarity with the rule's existence, and they have mounted a membership education campaign and efforts to shame candidates suspected of using OTB. When a write-in primary is forced, GPNYS will support a registered Green to win the vote and protect the party's name.

Mattera says that people are shocked when they learn about OTB. "It runs counter to any rational idea of how parties are supposed to work, and is one more reason why we maintain that 'fusion breeds confusion."