The Green Party, founded in 2001, claims to be a party for “environmentalists, advocates for social justice, nonviolent resisters and regular citizens who’ve had enough of corporate-dominated politics.” And thanks to the hard work of lots of organizers, Green Party candidates have a place on Montana’s 2020 ballot. But if Democrats get their way, Green Party voters will be disenfranchised from voting for their candidates of choice.
Claiming (and complaining) that Republicans were behind the effort to place the Green Party on the ballot, Democrats have filed a lawsuit with the First Judicial Court of Lewis & Clark County to get Green Party names removed from the statewide ballot.
The Democratic Party of Montana found four individuals who claimed that they were misled by the signature-gathering effort and did not know who was behind the effort. There is no indication that the petition they signed was deceitful or inaccurate, but they merely claimed to have found out too late that it might help Republicans to ostensibly splinter off some Democratic vote for the just-as-liberal Green Party.
The lawsuit reads that they were “duped by the Republican Party.”
Democrats have been trying to keep the Green Party off the ballot since at least March, when Montana’s liberal newspapers reported a number of inconsistent details about their signature-gathering effort.
The lawsuit alleges that “many of those who gathered signatures for the petition in question were not even Montana residents.” However, the law does not require signature-gatherers to be Montana residents. It only requires that signers be Montana residents.
A number of Green Party candidates will be on the state ballot, at least so long as the courts don’t overrule Montana Secretary of State, Corey Stapleton.
The Democratic Party claims to be the party of inclusion, but it is trying desperately in Montana to exclude candidates who have lawfully filed for office and in doing so, disenfranchise the voters who would cast a ballot for them.