The Rap on our Election Code Section

 

Caleb Kleppner, 415-824-2735, calebk@fairvote.org and Jeanne Rosenmeier, greengal@netvista.net

 

Re:  Moving forward with a Green Party election code section

Date:  Nov 2001

 

Section 5005 of the California Election Code specifies that newly qualified political parties must adopt the Election Code section of an existing party until the legislature creates a new section of the Elections Code that applies to the new party: 

 

5005. Until otherwise provided for by statute, a political party newly qualified pursuant to Section 5100 shall carry on its activities in accordance with procedures applicable to any other political party that has detailed statutory provisions applicable to its operation as shall be designated by the newly qualified party. The temporary officers of the newly qualified political party elected pursuant to Section 5001 shall file notice of its selection with the Secretary of State not later than 30 days after the political party qualifies

 

When the Green Party of California gained ballot status in 1992, we adopted the Peace and Freedom section of the Elections Code.  We have used it since then, although certain provisions of this section conflict with the bylaws of the Green Party of California and issues such as our presidential nomination are not specified.

 

To address this situation, we adopted a resolution at our September 2001 plenary specifying the provisions that we wish to include in our election code section.

 

We are therefore attempting to identify state legislators who would be willing to draft actual statutory language for us and then introduce the bill as soon as possible.  Please contact us if you know of a legislator who may be willing to draft and introduce the legislation.

 

The provisions adopted by the Green Party of California are the following:

 

  1. Allow counties to use choice voting (proportional representation) to elect county councils.
  2. Give GPCA the option of using instant runoff voting (IRV) and None of the Above (NOTA) in primary elections.
  3. Specify that nominations for Green Party of California candidates for President and Vice-president of the United States, and other federal and state partisan offices, occur by primary election and not a convention.
  4. Require all candidates for county council to appear on the ballot. 
  5. Elastic clause:  (a) Any aspects of Green Party elections that are not specified in this section shall be controlled by the bylaws of the Green Party of California.  (b) If an election official certifies in writing that the cost of compliance with our bylaws or the Green Party section of the state election code exceeds a particular amount such as $1 per registered voter or the per voter cost of the Democratic or Republican primary then election officials shall work in good faith to achieve the spirit of the bylaws using alternative or provisional means.  Such provisional approaches shall 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.
  6. Green Party nominees for partisan office are not automatically candidates for county council.  Under the Peace and Freedom section of the elections code, partisan nominees are automatically elected as members of the county council.
  7. Any needed housekeeping provisions of the Peace and Freedom section of the elections code relating to presidential nominations (Division 6, Part 1, Chapter 4), central committees (Division 7, Part 5) and elections of central committee members (Division 15, Chapter 6, Article 5).  One such existing condition allows state and local parties to use state buildings free of charge.

If you think one of your state representatives might be willing to draft and/or introduce this legislation, please contact me at 415-824-2735 or calebk@fairvote.org.  We will be glad to work with you as you contact your representative and attempt to get the legislation introduced.