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STATE: Constitution, Green parties no longer recognized in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Constitution Party and the Green Party are no longer recognized political parties in North Carolina.

Both parties failed to turn out the required 2 percent of the total vote for their candidate for governor or for presidential electors in the 2020 general election. Voters who register or update their registrations will no longer be able to affiliate with either party.

The State Board of Elections will meet on Feb. 23 to decide when to change the affiliation of voters registered with the Constitution and Green parties to unaffiliated status. State law says the State Board shall not make this change until at least 90 days after the general election.

“The Constitution Party and the Green Party did not meet the threshold to continue as recognized political parties in North Carolina,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “The parties may be recognized once again if they meet the requirements for a political party as specified in state statute.”

The Constitution Party of North Carolina was first recognized as a political party in June 2018; it had about 4,600 members for the 2020 election. The Green Party was recognized in March 2018; it had about 3,600 members statewide.

There are 17 voters registered with the Green Party and 49 voters registered with the Constitution Party in the county, according to Stanly County Board of Elections Director Kimberly Blackwelder.

Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party requested to continue as a recognized political party because its candidate for president was on the ballot in at least 35 states, meeting the 70 percent threshold required by law.

The State Board of Elections is expected to consider the continued certification of the Libertarian Party at a meeting on Feb. 23. Currently, about 45,000 N.C. voters are registered Libertarians.

Per state law, a recognized political party is:

• Any group of voters which, at the most recent general election, polled for its candidate for governor, or for presidential electors, at least 2 percent of the entire vote cast for governor or presidential electors.

• Any group of voters that files with the State Board of Elections petitions for the creation of a new political party signed by 0.25 percent of the total number of voters in the most recent election for governor. Also, the petition must be signed by at least 200 registered voters from three N.C. congressional districts.

• Any group of voters that files documentation that the group of voters had a candidate nominated on the general election ballot of at 70 percent of the states in the most recent presidential election.