Green Party Section of the California Elections Code
Caleb Kleppner, co-coordinator
Electoral Reform Working Group
Revised May 2001

At the San Diego state meeting, the plenary adopted by consensus a resolution directing the ERWG to develop a specific proposal for what should go in the legislation to create a Green Party section of the Elections Code.  We continued to discuss it at the April plenary in Sacramento and will submit a full proposal for consideration in San Mateo in September.

We need to finalize the proposal by the end of July!

Please study these and bring any input, questions, and concerns to the attention of

If the plenary adopts a resolution, WG members and other concerned Greens will attempt to find a sponsor in the state legislature who can then submit our proposed legislation to the Legislative Counsel, who will draft an actual statute for introduction in January 2002.

This is a draft set of provisions to consider.  There may be others.

Please examine the below features and brings suggestions and questions to the attention of Caleb Kleppner or the Electoral Reform WG list serve

The WG (and straw poll of plenary) generally supported the following provisions (although not all unanimously or equally):

  1. Allow counties to use choice voting to elect county councils including a No Other Candidate (NOC) option
  2. Give GPCA option of using instant runoff voting (IRV) and None of the Above (NOTA) in primary elections (as long primary remains closed).
  3. Put the burden of proof on county registrars who claim that complying with our election code section would be too burdensome (this is the point we lost NOTA on - too much burden).  It could work like this:  if a registrar certifies in writing that the cost of compliance exceeds a particular amount – such as $1 per registered voter or the per voter cost of the Democratic or Republican primary – then the registrar shall work in good faith to achieve the goals of the party by using alternative or provisional means.  Such provisional approaches could include but are not limited to:  allowing Greens or election workers to count ballots by hand, delaying counting of Green party ballots until after all other election results have been certified, and so forth.
  4. Conduct nominations by primary elections and not by party convention
  5. Require all candidates for county council to appear on the ballot.  Under current practices, if a race for county council is not contested, the registrar is not obligated to place the candidates on the ballot.  This would repeal the “sufficiency “ clause, which says that if there are not more candidates for county council than seats, the registrar is not obligated to place the candidates on the ballot.

The WG (and straw poll of plenary) generally opposed the following provisions:

  • Allow voters registered “Decline-to-State” to vote in Green primaries.
  • Change signature requirements for running for office.  Current requirements for county council are a minimum of 20 signatures.  For statewide races, there are requirements for geographic distribution of signatures.
  • Adopt provisions to protect the party against “raiding” by outside forces working against Green values, especially if we receive federal matching funds.  Remember the Reform Party.

Some other provisions that were discussed but not agreed to:

  • Short and sweet:  “The bylaws of GPCA control Green Party elections.”
  • Include ex-felons and non-citizen residents in Green Party elections