RALEIGH — The Constitution Party and the Green Party are no longer recognized political parties in North Carolina, the North Carolina State Board of Elections announced Jan. 27.
According to the state board, both parties failed to turn out the required 2 percent of the total vote for their candidate for governor or for presidential electors in the 2020 general election.
Matthew Snyder, Watauga County director of elections, said 23 people are registered voters in the Constitution Party and 48 are registered with the Green Party in Watauga County.
“Their status will be automatically changed to Unaffiliated,” Snyder said. “If those voters would like to register to vote under the Democratic, Libertarian, or Republican parties, they simply have to complete a voter registration form, select a party affiliation, and turn the form into the Board of Elections.”
In the 2020 general election, 103 people in Watauga County voted for Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and 43 people in the county voted for Constitution Party candidate Don Blankenship, according to state board voter stats.
Snyder said people can find information on ways to register at www.ncsbe.gov/registering/how-register or they can call the Watauga County Board of Elections office at (828) 265-8061.
According to the state board, the Constitution Party of North Carolina was first recognized as a political party in June 2018; it had about 4,600 members for the 2020 election. The Green Party was recognized in March 2018; it had about 3,600 members statewide.
Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said in a press release that “the parties may be recognized once again if they meet the requirements for a political party as specified in state statute.”
The Libertarian Party has requested to continue as a recognized political party in the state because its candidate for president was on the ballot in at least 35 states, meeting the 70 percent threshold required by law, according to the state board. The state is expected to consider the continued certification of the Libertarian Party at a meeting on Feb. 23. Currently, about 45,000 N.C. voters are registered Libertarians.
Per state law, a recognized political party is:
- Any group of voters which, at the most recent general election, polled for its candidate for governor, or for presidential electors, at least 2 percent of the entire vote cast for governor or presidential electors.
- Any group of voters that files with the State Board of Elections petitions for the creation of a new political party signed by 0.25 percent of the total number of voters in the most recent election for governor. Also, the petition must be signed by at least 200 registered voters from three N.C. congressional districts.
- Any group of voters that files documentation that the group of voters had a candidate nominated on the general election ballot of at 70 percent of the states in the most recent presidential election.