Nevada Democrats sue secretary of state and Green Party to block Jill Stein from ballot

The Democratic Party is escalating its attacks on third-party candidates in an effort to block any challenge to the two-party monopoly. On June 11, the campaign of Green Party candidate for US president, Dr. Jill Stein, reported that the Nevada State Democratic Party has sued the Nevada secretary of state and the Nevada Green Party, in an autocratic bid to keep Stein off the ballot.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. [AP Photo/Matt Rourke]

Posting on X, Jason Call, the campaign manager for Stein, reported that the Democrats filed their lawsuit less than “24 hours” after the Green Party submitted some 29,500 signatures, nearly three times the 10,000 signatures required, to appear on the ballot.

In a follow-up post, Call reported that the Democrats are “alleging that we did not have the required distribution among the 4 [Nevada] congressional districts—meaning that a minimum of 2,500 valid signatures must have come from each.”

Call added that the Democrats “are also going through the signature sheets and seeking to strike signatures for various reasons. Mostly they are trying to tie up our resources so we can’t put them elsewhere. It’s a Wal-Mart approach to overwhelming the competition.”

Ballot access laws for third parties are different in every state. While the Democratic and Republican parties automatically appear on the ballot, third-party candidates are required to spend thousands (and sometimes millions) of dollars and countless hours to obtain tens of thousands of signatures to gain ballot access. Nearly every state requires the collection of a substantial number of petition signatures, and many also require specific minimum signature amounts from the various congressional districts in the state. Every state requires that the signatures be collected within a specific window of time, which can vary greatly, from a year or more to only a few weeks. In addition, most states mandate the naming of presidential electors from every congressional district.

In a follow-up email to the WSWS, Call explained that the Democrats are “attacking the paperwork of the very existence of the Nevada Green Party, saying it was filed late, trying to invalidate any signatures collected prior to January 10.”

Call noted that the Democrats are suing the Nevada secretary of state, Democrat Francisco Aguilar, because his office provided “an incomplete file of our petitions,” which Call surmised would “be resolved simply by the Secretary of State providing them the complete file.”

Call clarified that the Green Party did not submit the required paperwork late. Instead, he wrote, “the Nevada Secretary of State processed it late and we have an affidavit to that effect.”

The Democratic Party campaign has mobilized vast resources, with millions of dollars and an army of lawyers deployed to block third-party challengers. Call said, “They are trying to bleed us out. A tactic of empire. I used the Wal-Mart analogy due to Wal-Mart’s strategy of putting its competitor out of business through overwhelming resources.”

Responding to the anti-democratic actions of the Democratic Party, Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president Joseph Kishore denounced “the efforts of the Democratic Party to keep Jill Stein off the ballot in Nevada. The SEP supports the right of all third-party candidates to get on the ballot.”

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Kishore wrote that the Democrats’ efforts “to block candidates from obtaining ballot status is an attack on the most basic democratic right, the right to vote. The two parties of the capitalist ruling elite want to prevent workers and youth from having the ability to vote for anyone besides Biden and Trump.”

He added

The Democrats have declared an “all-out war” on third parties and independent candidates, while at the same time they appeal to fascistic Republicans for support to prosecute wars abroad and attacks on immigrants at home. This exposes the fraud of their pretense to be defending democracy against Trump. The central priority of the Democratic Party is the escalation of war, including the US-NATO war against Russia and the genocide in Gaza.

The defense of democratic rights is impossible without addressing the root cause of dictatorship: the concentration of staggering sums of money in the hands of a small fraction of the population. More than 330 million people live in the United States, yet the entire political establishment is controlled by the corporate and financial oligarchy. The wealth of the billionaires must be expropriated and the gigantic corporations must be transformed into publicly controlled utilities, run on the basis of social need, not private profit.