The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, on Tuesday, voted unanimously in favor of recognition for the Green Party in North Carolina, making the state officially a four party state.
The newly minted board passed the motion forming the North Carolina Green Party at its first meeting, convened by teleconference on Tuesday.
To become an officially recognized political party in North Carolina, the party must have fielded a candidate in 70 percent of the states in the last presidential race.
In the 2016 Presidential Election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein was on the ballot in 38 of the states, meaning that a Green Party candidate was on the ballot in 76 percent of the states.
“Our recommendation to the board, seeing no reason to question that documentation from the clerk’s office which we had independently verified as well, we would recommend that you proceed to recognize the party,” State Board General Counsel Josh Lawson said. “If you don’t there are two litigation actions that would likely result in the recognition in the next couple of weeks in the absence of board action today.”
The members of the board voted to immediately recognize the formation of the new party making it official as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Green Party of the United States is the fourth largest political party in the nation, officially forming on 2001 but with roots reaching back to the mid 1980s.
The Green Party is a grassroots organization that bills itself as the party of the “health of our planet and future generations” and decries war, the “one-percent” and focuses on social justice and gender and sexual rights.
The party is generally seen as comprising those on the far left politically.
North Carolina now has Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Greens, as well as unaffiliated voters, though Republicans and Democrats far outweigh the other two at 2,656,222 Democrats and 2,077,563 Republicans, as of March 24, 2018.
Libertarians have a little more than 35,000 party members across the state.
North Carolina has no independent party but has 2,132,043 unaffiliated voters, surpassing Republicans last September.
Already Democrat Party voter registrations have been on the decline in the state and questions remain if the Green Party will pry more voters from one of the major parties.
Susan Myrick, elections policy analyst for the Civitas Institute, doesn’t think so, but said that if anyone feels pressure from the new party it will be the Democrats.
Myrick said that the formation of the party likely wouldn’t hurt either of the political juggernaut parties in the state but that it depends on the candidates and the campaigns.
“I won’t say it will hurt Democrats,” she said. “But, if it hurts any party it will be Democrats.”
The Civitas Institute publishes NC Capitol Connection.