The Libertarian and Green parties of Maryland issued the following statement regarding the difficulty of petitioning for ballot access during the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to Ballot Access News for providing the link.
The Maryland Libertarian and Green Parties are calling on the General Assembly, Governor, and Board of Elections to place them on the ballot for the November general election, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Both parties have been petitioning throughout the state to each collect over 10,000 signatures to get back on the ballot, but their petition drives have ground to a halt, because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“As people who have a great deal of success in qualifying for the ballot, we would ask that the Governor, General Assembly, and the Board of Elections understand the effect this state of emergency has had on peoples’ willingness to be approached by a stranger, let alone take a pen or clipboard”, said Libertarian Party Executive Director Dan Fishman.
“Additionally, though all of our petitioners are healthy and would be benched at the first sign of illness, Corona is apparently often spread by people who are asymptomatic.”
“Paid and volunteer Green Party petitioners have been doing what we do every four year to be on the ballot. We gather signatures in public areas, at large gatherings, and door-to-door, but this has become untenable and potentially unsafe with the public health crisis and state of emergency we now face,” said Maryland Green Party co-chair Andy Ellis.
The Libertarian and Green Parties have been active in Maryland for over 20 years, consistently running candidates, lobbying the General Assembly, and holding outreach events, thereby having established their regular participation in the democratic process. That continued participation should not be made impossible or dangerous due to the declared public health emergency.