Primary Day Means Dems and Republicans Stealing Third Party Ballot Lines Through Obscure Laws, Says Green Party of NY

One of the Dirtier Tricks From This Primary Season: Fake Mailer Using Howie Hawkins' Name and Likeness

ALBANY--The Green Party of New York (GPNY) called on Gov. Cuomo and the state legislature to make immediate changes to New York election law to ban Opportunity-To-Ballot (OTB) petitions and primary elections. Green Party officers stated that OTB has been used by Democrats and Republicans to attempt to hijack the Green ballot line across the state this year. Green Party members have reported people who registered as Greens specifically to sign OTB petitions for Democratic and Republican candidates. Greens also mentioned the OTB law violates the spirit of closed primaries that are the law in New York State.

Perhaps most distressing was a mailer of unknown origin sent to registered Greens in Suffolk County using the face and name of GPNY's 2010 and 2014 Gubernatorial Candidate, Howie Hawkins, in an attempt to influence votes in an OTB primary there. The mailer uses the name "Green Party" but was not sent by GPNY, any GPNY-affiliated county organizations or local Green clubs. Scans of the mailer provided to the state party do not show a "Paid For By" statement, without which voters would have no ability to vet the source.

"The OTB loophole is an assault against our party members' democratic rights to free association. Republican and Democratic candidates have the ability to steal ballot lines from endorsed Green Party candidates, and add them to their own through fusion. This abrogates the right of party members to choose candidates from their own organization, and only their own. What use are closed primaries if there is an OTB exception?," said GPNY Co-Chair Peter LaVenia.

"We call on Gov. Cuomo and the legislature to ban OTBs. With that simple step they could eliminate the ballot box confusion that line-poaching brings to party members and help to restore the democratic rights of New Yorkers to choose candidates from their own parties," said GPNY Co-Chair Gloria Mattera. "We often say that fusion with the duopoly parties 'leads to confusion', but OTB is just outright deception. We will ensure that voters know any candidate who obtains our line through these means cannot be trusted and is not worthy of their vote."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

Peter LaVenia, Co-chair,GPNY chair2@gpny.org or 518-495-8001
Gloria Mattera, Co-chair, GPNY chair@gpny.org or 917-886-4538