What the GPUS has to offer to a prospective Green presidential candidate (2016)

• The GPUS is a federation of state Green Parties in the United States with a national office in the Washington, DC area. It is also part of international movement of Green Parties in approximately 100 countries, including through membership in the Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas and the Global Greens.

• The Green Party has a long history of policy approaches and achievements by elected Greens across the U.S.  and around the world. In the United States there are state party platforms and the national GPUS platform. Globally there is the Global Greens Charter. All are based upon common values of ecology, social justice, democracy and non-violence. Running for president as a Green draws upon this legacy, helps to build the Green movement, and provides a clear electoral expression to policies and approaches our country and our planet needs.

• Ballot access for the GPUS presidential nominees generally comes in one of three ways. In some cases, individual state Green Parties have ongoing ballot status, such that all of their partisan candidates (including the GPUS presidential nominee) can automatically appear upon the General Election ballot. In other cases, a state party may not have ongoing ballot status, but is able to secure General Election ballot access on an election-by-election basis, usually through a petition-signature drive. In still other cases, the threshold to achieve ballot access through the party may be unduly onerous because of unfair ballot access laws, but the option of achieving ballot access for the presidential nominee instead of the party may be more achievable. Where the GPUS presidential nominee is not able to secure ballot access in any of these ways, he or she is able to receive write-in votes and have them counted in most states.

In all of these cases, achieving ballot access for the GPUS presidential nominees usually depends upon the groundwork of thousands of Green Party volunteers. These same volunteers provide a grassroots base for the GPUS presidential campaign. In addition, there is a synergy of effort between the campaigns of Green candidates for local, state and Federal office in each state and that of the GPUS presidential nominee.

In 1996, Green presidential nominee Ralph Nader was on the ballot in 20 states and the District of Columbia and had write-in votes counted in 23. In 2000, Nader was on the ballot in 43 states and the District of Columbia and had write-in votes counted in four. In 2004, Green presidential nominee David Cobb was on the ballot in 27 states and the District of Columbia and had write-in votes counted in 15. In 2008, Green nominee Cynthia McKinney was on the ballot in 31 states and the District of Columbia and received and had write-in votes counted in 17. In 2012, Green nominee Jill Stein was on the ballot in 36 states and the District of Columbia and received and had write-in votes counted in six.

• Running with the Green Party provides pre-existing ballot access that an independent candidate would not have, helps build an ongoing movement by strengthening existing alternative political structures, and helps persuade voters of the need for additional parties other than simply the Democrats and Republicans.

• Running and being nominated as a Green, compared to running and losing in the Democratic or Republican primaries, provides a place on the ballot all the way through November and with it, a chance to promote Green ideas and policies into the general election.

• If the Green presidential candidate receives at least 5% of the popular vote in the general election, the Green Party’s nominee in the next presidential election will receive public financing, based upon the ratio of the popular vote of new party candidate’s in the current election to the average popular vote of the two major party candidates in that same election, and the party will receive approximately $4 million to conduct its nomination convention.