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Nevada Democrats sue to block Green Party from 2024 ballot

The party alleges that many of the signatures gathered by the Green Party did not meet the state’s requirements, though it has not seen not all the signatures.
Eric Neugeboren
Eric Neugeboren
CourtsElection 2024

The Nevada Democratic Party is seeking to invalidate the Green Party’s effort to land on the state’s November ballot, arguing it did not gather enough valid signatures to gain ballot access.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in Carson City District Court, the state party asked the court to invalidate the signatures gathered and prohibit the secretary of state’s office from approving the Green Party from qualifying for the November general election. According to the lawsuit, the Democratic Party reviewed a limited number of signatures via a public records request, and said its initial findings (which did not include a review of signatures submitted in Clark and Washoe counties) indicated that most of the signatures are invalid.

Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar, a Democrat, said in an interview Thursday that the office’s legal representation is reviewing the lawsuit, and that “if there’s an issue for us to address, I assume we’ll address it.”

The Green Party has not been on a Nevada general election ballot since 2008, when its candidate received around 1,400 votes. Including a qualified minor party on the ballot — one potentially able to pull dissatisfied left-leaning voters away from the Democratic Party — could have major impacts on the presidential race in Nevada, where President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in 2020 by only about 33,000 votes out of more than a million cast.

The Green Party gathered nearly 30,000 petition signatures to land on the general election ballot, well more than the required amount of 10,095 signatures, which must be split evenly across Nevada’s four congressional districts. The party announced Monday that “as of this moment, the Nevada Green Party is on the Ballot.” The party has not submitted a candidate yet for the November ballot, but the party's former presidential candidate Jill Stein is running again this year. Stein called the lawsuit “outrageous” in a video posted to her campaign website.

Lawyers representing the Nevada Democratic Party filed public records requests to review the Green Party’s submitted signatures and petition, but the lawsuit said they had only received a handful of signatures and no copies of the petition.

“We have filed this challenge to preserve our rights to inspect the petitions consistent with Nevada state law,” Hilary Barrett, the executive director of the Nevada Democratic Party, said in a statement.

The Democratic Party says that the limited number of signatures that it was able to review did not meet the state’s requirements and should be invalidated. For example, some of the signatures were gathered in 2023, which is before the Green Party filed its certificate of continued existence with state election officials in January. 

The lawsuit alleges thar some petition signatures were gathered before the petition had been approved and should not be considered valid. 

Margery Hanson, the co-chair of the Nevada Green Party, told The Nevada Independent on Wednesday that it submitted its petition in October and denied breaking any rules.

In addition, some of the sworn affidavits on petition forms had been altered to change the county of the petition circulator, exhibit documents show.

“Despite not having received all the signed petitions the Green Party submitted to the Secretary of State and the counties, upon information and belief, the Green Party did not and could not submit sufficient verified signatures from the petition districts to qualify as a minor political party with ballot access under Nevada law,” the lawsuit said.


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