The primary reason for any political party is, of course, to elect people to office who share our views on social and economic issues. This process begins by demonstrating to our state government that we have enough support to claim legal recognition and a place on the election ballot. The reason the state asks for this show of support is to prevent dozens of 1- or 2-person “fake” parties (some of which may be in earnest, but many would likely be pranks or cranks) from making our ballots difficult and confusing for both election officials and voters.
We demonstrate this support to the state by turning in legal petitions signed by registered voters. Here in Nebraska we are required to submit signatures equal to 1% of the number of people who voted in the previous governor’s race, usually around 2,500 names. For a Party ballot line ( as opposed to nominating an unaffiliated single candidate) any registered voter can sign regardless of whether they are a Democrat, Republican, or unaffiliated, but the names must come equally from all three of our congressional districts.
While this is not an easy goal for just the dedicated few of us who have done it four times already, it can be easily done if enough of us pitch in. If 125 of us collected 1 petition each (20 names) we’d be done !
Collecting signatures is not an intimidating procedure, it’s actually very simple and most people, even the ones who don’t sign, are courteous and happy to see someone doing what they care about. You don’t have to give a “sales pitch,” you only need to explain what you are doing and, if the person is interested, why you are doing it. By collecting signatures from family and friends and you could probably fill a petition just from that. We also attend public events (concerts, meetings, etc.) where you can collect a lot at once.
Our Nebraska Green Party is currently collecting signatures to get back on the ballot for the 2016 elections when we will have a presidential candidate. (Sadly we don’t have any candidates for office this year; where are you?). This gives us enough time to organize our efforts and show our support IF we get going on it now.
We have already begun, but we are not very far along — so we really need your help. To obtain petition forms contact:
- Mark Zimmermann in Omaha: (markalanzimmermann (at) gmail.com or 402-250-5235)
- Mary Ann Schiech in Lincoln: (MShiech (at) gmail.com)
A really great opportunity to collect signatures will be at the Stop Keystone XL concert in Neligh on Sat. Sept. 27th (headlined by Neil Young & Willie Nelson). If you’re fortunate enough to go, lots of signatures could be had for the asking (especially from 3rd District).
If you’re reading this hopefully that means you care enough to pitch in, but if you’re still on the fence about participating consider for a minute what choices you’ll be facing when you look at your ballot in two years. Together we can do this!