RALEIGH — The State Board of Elections on Feb. 23 voted unanimously to wait until June 12 to move members of the Constitution and Green parties to unaffiliated status in order to give the parties time to try to gather enough signatures to regain recognition in North Carolina.
The recognized status of both parties ended automatically when their candidates for governor and president failed to get 2 percent of the votes in the 2020 general election, and the parties did not submit documentation showing their nominees were on the ballot in at least 70 percent of states.
However, the Constitution Party of North Carolina and the North Carolina Green Party have started petitions to be recognized again. In a letter to the North Carolina State Board, the parties asked that the board not change the affiliation of their voters.
Under the Feb. 23 North Carolina State Board decision, if either party is not successful in the petition process by 20 days before the start of the municipal election candidate filing period, its voters will be switched to unaffiliated status. This allows the parties more time to complete the petition process while ensuring voters are not affiliated with expired political parties while an election is going on, which could result in their inability to vote in a primary.
The municipal filing period currently is scheduled to begin July 2, so the voters’ statuses would change to unaffiliated on June 12. If the filing period is delayed, voter status changes also would be delayed. Voters will be notified by mail by their county board of elections if their affiliation is changed and will have the opportunity to update their party affiliation, if desired.
Currently, there are 3,920 Green Party voters and 5,285 Constitution Party voters in the state. North Carolina has more than 7 million registered voters.
Matthew Snyder, Watauga County director of elections, said on Jan. 28 that 23 people are registered voters in the Constitution Party and 48 are registered with the Green Party in Watauga County.
The State Board also voted unanimously to continue recognizing the Libertarian Party in North Carolina. The party’s candidates for governor and president also did not garner 2 percent of the votes in the November election. However, the party submitted documentation demonstrating that it had a nominee on the general election ballot of at least 35 states.