Ohio has a democratic problem - and I’m not just talking about the nationally recognized party that brags to be the party of the people while raking in dollars hand over fist to keep those same people under the boot. I’m talking about the entire idea of democracy.
Ballot access in Ohio has been something of a nuisance for “third parties,” as they are so often called.
In 2018, Ohio law requires that a state-wide candidate receive 3 percent of the vote in order to maintain ballot access for the next four years, or until 2022. If the Green Party misses this mark, there will be no “third party” option under which to unite when the Democratic Party continues to cater to its big-money donors heading into the 2020 midterm election. We the People will be further in duress.
In 2014, the Green Party had no ballot access, and their candidate that year
, Anita Rios, had been just shy of the tens of thousands of signatures a candidate from an unrecognized party required.
Through a loophole, Rios was able to snag ballot access into the General Election by receiving 628 votes in a write-in campaign during the primary (only 500 were necessary).
According to Ohio law, Rios would need to secure at least 3 percent of the vote to secure Green Party ballot access for the next four years.
Rios did not win the governorship, but she did succeed in protecting ballot access for Green Party and Independent voters who sought a choice outside of the two-party system. She amassed 101,706 votes for 3.3 percent of the election. This would pave the way for any candidate wishing to run on the Green Party ticket.
It's now almost four years later, and the voices of Progressive Democrats have been stifled within their party — while the Greens are struggling to keep ballot access, hoping to attract these disenfranchised leftists.
Those hoping to start a new party should look into the details of such. There is a reason why the Green Party has not been able to make much traction in 30 years, and it is not due to a lack of enthusiasm for the issues.
The truth is, the Green Party hasn’t made as much progress as many would like to see. Yet, that the Green Party has made the progress that it has is a testament to the political skills, experience and resilience of the people who are involved with building the Green Party.
The 2018 election will be pivotal for the people of Ohio, but it seems so far off now that they may fail to see it. Ohio is one of 26 states with a Republican trifecta (gubernatorial and legislative control). It takes 34 states to initiate a Constitutional Convention, where our Constitution is re-written to reflect the values of those in power.
The Democrats control only six such trifectas, and they are not putting up a very big fight considering the outright condemnation of over half their base as they struggle to pander to “centrists” and keep shoving right. Couple that with the fact that Ohio is gerrymandered like crazy, and you’ll see it’s no wonder the Democrats can’t get it done.
At the end of the day, the two major parties are paid off by the same moneyed interests; they would rather see a Republican elected than any progressive voice.
In 2018, We the People have the option to wipe out one of these trifectas, save Democracy for the 2020 general election, and simultaneously set Ohio on the path to becoming one of the best places in the nation to live.
Constance Gadell-Newton is 2018's gubernatorial candidate for the Green Party, as no other individual has yet stepped up. In a three-way race, Constance needs only 35 percent of the vote to win the governorship and bring to the table serious discussion on how to help Ohio through these tumultuous times.
Let’s unite Ohio’s leftists - abandon the principle of Party and Profit to put People first!
Constance’s priorities as governor are to promote the general welfare through a statewide universal health care system; provide expansive mental health and addiction services; reform the education system to ensure that every child and young adult receives a well funded, well-rounded education; promote small, local, and green businesses as well as fair wages and practices/protections for workers; protect the civil liberties and civil rights of all Ohioans, including women’s right to choose; criminal and drug law reform; changes to child support laws; protect Ohio’s clean water, air and soil by preserving wildlife, natural spaces and renewable energy; and finally to ensure fair and honest elections so that the People of Ohio are guaranteed to have their say, and have it heard.
That may seem like a lot, but it’s only the beginning of what we need to focus on if we want to start making Ohio a fulfilling place to grow up, work, live and retire.
Check out her website at www.constanceforohio.com
We have the unique opportunity to change the tide from hatred and poverty in Ohio to one of diversity, understanding and promise for tomorrow. All we need is a measly 35 percent of the vote.