2000: The Green Party of Delaware qualified for statewide ballot status in March 2000.
Before 2010, the criteria for ballot status in Delaware was to have at least 0.1% of registered voters. In 2000 that number was 235.
The Green Party of Delaware had 435 Green registrants by the March 2000 deadline for the November 2000 elections, and thus achieved ballot status for that election, as of that date, and subsequently retained a number of Green registrations over the 0.1% of registered vote threshold.
2010: The Green Party of Delaware retained statewide ballot status via legislative remedy
On February 1st, 2010 the Governor of Delaware signed a law raising the ballot qualification percentage from 01% to 0.2% – or 612 registrants. However the 0.05% requirement was retained until 2011. Why?
Since the Green Party of Delaware officially had approximately 565 registered voters at that time at the time the law was signed, it would have lost ballot status because after April 1 when the state officially entered primary season, during which no one can change party registration. However, a coalition of Delaware’s minor parties reminded the Delaware Commissioner of Elections that it was unconstitutional to change ballot access laws in an election year. In response a temporary rescinding of the law was passed by both houses of the Delaware state legislature and signed by the Governor, restoring 0.1% standard until the end of 2010, at which time the new standard took effect.
2011: The Green Party of Delaware retained statewide ballot access via the voter registration
Since the beginning of 2011, the standard for ballot access in Delaware has remained 0.2% of registered Delaware voters. While the number of required registrants gradually went up to close to 700 as the number of overall registered voters increase, it was not an issue until the 2016 season.
In late 2015 and early 2016 the Green Party of Delaware lost a number of registrants, who probably re-registered Democrats to vote in the Democratic primary for President. The Green Party of Delaware sent out requests to the last list of registered Greens, asking anyone who switched to re-register Green after the primary and before the end of May. Some did, but the party was still about three dozen short of the number to attain ballot access. Since, because of the primary rules, only newly registering people could be added, the Green Party of Delaware struggled to find enough people. Eventually the Jill Stein campaign sent paid people to help with the registration. Success was attained by finding young students at a local college and some homeless who were unregistered.
Maintaining registration numbers was no problem in 2018. Hopefully the issues of 2016 were unique and GPDE will not have to deal with a large group of registrants re-registering with another party in the future.