1992: Hawai’i Green Party qualified for statewide ballot status in May 1992
In Hawai’i in 1992, the qualification criteria for statewide ballot status was to gather a number of petition signers equal to 1% of the number of registered voters in the state.
(In 1999, Libertarians in Hawaii successfully persuaded the legislature to lower this threshold from 1%, to one-tenth of 1%.)
In May 1992, the Hawai’i Green Party submitted over 8,000 signatures of petition signers, surpassing the 4,533 signature threshold needed to qualify as a statewide ballot status party.
1992: Hawai’i Green Party retained its statewide ballot status in November 1992.
To retain ballot status in Hawai’i, a political party must satisfy at least one of the following four criteria: receive at least 10% in a statewide race; receive 10% of all votes cast in at least fifty percent of the Congressional districts; receive 10% of all votes cast in at least six state senatorial districts with the lowest votes cast for the office of state senator; or receive 10% of all the votes cast in at least fifty percent of all the representatives districts for the office of state representative.
1996: Hawai’i Green Party retained its statewide ballot status in May 1996.
In May 1996, the Hawai’i Green Party submitted over 7,500 signatures of petition signers, surpassing the 4,888 signature threshold needed to retain its statewide ballot status.
1996: Hawai’i Green Party lost ballot status in November 1996.
Ralph Nader received 2.9% and 10.386 votes for president. His 2.9% was not sufficient to surpass the 10% needed for the Hawai’i Green Party to retain its ballot status.
At the time, Hawai’i state law also provided that if a party successfully petitioned for the ballot three times in a row, it would receive automatic ballot status for ten years. The Hawai’i Green Party had qualified for ballot status three times in a row – twice by petitioning and once by a statewide candidacy.
Unfortunately for Hawai’i Greens, the law’s language specifically referred to ‘petitioning’, rather than ‘qualifying’ for the ballot. Thus Linda Martin’s 13.7% in 1992 did not count towards the Green Party’s total.
On this basis, the Greens were denied ballot status after the November 1996 elections, because they did not retain ballot status by receiving 10% or more in a statewide race.
1997: Hawai’i Green Party regains its statewide ballot status.
In 1997, the Hawai’i legislature passed a Green-sponsored bill to remedy this situation and change the wording of the state law from ‘petitioning’ to ‘qualifying’.
After the law’s passage, the issue became whether the law should be applied retroactively to the Green Party. After some debate, the new state elections officer ruled that it did.
With that ruling, the Green Party regained its ballot status through 2006. The only requirement for the Greens during this period is that they run candidates in each election. This same requirement that applies to all ballot status parties in Hawai’i enjoying the ten year exemption.
2006: Hawai’i Green Party lost statewide ballot status in November 2006 by failing to run any candidates in partisan races.
2008: Hawai’i Green Party regains its statewide ballot status.
2010: Hawai’i Green Party regains its statewide ballot status.
In April the Hawai’i Green Party submitted more than twice the 692 valid petition signatures needed to gain ballot status.