Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Green Party Members in New York Voting In A Presidential Primary By Mail Ballot

Gloria Mattera, Co-Chair, Green Party of New York State
Peter LaVenia, Co-chair, Green Party of New York State

Albany, New York Registered Green Party members throughout New York State will vote in their presidential primary by mail ballot this week. Four candidates qualified to appear on the Green Party Ballot, Jesse Johnson, Cynthia McKinney, Kent Mesplay, and Kat Swift.

New Yorker voters may enroll in the Green Party simply by checking off the “other” box on the voter registration form and writing in “Green Party”. The Green party of New York State won this right via a court case against New York State Board of Elections in 2002, along with the Libertarian, Liberal, and Right to Life parties.

Despite having enrollment, the Green Party does not have ballot status in New York and therefore was not allowed to participate in the State funded presidential primary this past February. The Green Party raised funds to pay for a mailing to all registered Greens in New York State with a current address on file with the New York State Board of Elections.

The Green Party ballots allow voters to rank every candidate in order of preference, which allows voters who support losing candidates to transfer their support to candidates still in the running for additional delegates. The Green Party advocates for ranked choice voting as a more democratic voting method. The Green Party ballots will be publicly hand counted on May 31st, and must be postmarked by May 21st.

New York will also be selecting delegates to attend the Green Party’s national convention, to take place in Chicago, July 10-13. (http://www.gp. org/2008- elections/index.shtml) . The Green Party of New York is allotted 40
delegates out of a total of 836 at the convention (http://www.gp. org/2008- elections/ Delegation- Size.php).

Five states held Green Party primaries this year: California, Massachusetts, DC, Arkansas, and Illinois. The Green Party has ballot status in a total of 21 states; the full list is available at http://www.gp. org/committees/ ballot/ballotsta tus.shtml.

The Green Party stands for real change. From the start we opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We want our troops brought home from Iraq immediately and demand an end to the U.S. occupations of other countries. The Green Party supports single payer health care and has led the fight worldwide to curb climate change
through energy conservation, renewable energy, organic farming and local food, as well as investments in mass transit.

In contrast, both the Democratic and Republican Parties support a continued military presence in Iraq as well as threatening military intervention in Iran and Pakistan. Neither of the Democratic or the Republican presidential candidates has made a commitment to sign the next Kyoto Agreement that seeks global reductions in greenhouse gas pollution.

These ballots must be postmarked by May 21.

Green may also wish to become a delegate to the GP-US convention being held this July in Chicago. These delegates will be chosen by the GPNY regions. If you are an enrolled Green and want more information, you can contact either your Executive Committee regional representative, or other party officers

1 comment:

Jason Nabewaniec said...

We are looking for Green volunteers to help count the ballots. meet us at 10am on Saturday May 31 on the 5th floor of the Rochester Auditorium Center on the corner of E. Main street and prince street in Rochester, NY.

How the votes will be counted for upstate New York:
Voting System Values: This system allocates delegates proportionally within a region, but it allows voters who support losing candidates to transfer their support to candidates still in the running for additional delegates. This is a "closed" system - meaning that voters choose a presidential candidate's slate, but not individual delegates.

Will we begin by sorting envelopes into separate piles for each region of New York. This will be done by return address, postmark, and doubled checked by the voter confirmation sheet. (any returned ballots whose region cannot be identified will be spoiled)

Then we will open the envelopes and immediately remove any of the voter confirmation sheets, volunteer pledges and donations from the ballots. (Ideally we would have been able to afford a blank envelope inside the return envelope.)

We will then precede to hand count the ballots in each region with the following method as recommended by Fair Vote, www.fairvote.org.

Step One: Determine the threshold that a candidate needs to reach to guarantee winning a delegate in each region. This number will be:
1. Disregard any fractional remainders here, so that the threshold is a whole number.

At least one delegate will be awarded to each candidate who reaches the following threshold per region:

Region 3: 5 Delegates to be elected. Threshold = 1/6th of the region's total votes + 1 (rounded to next whole number)

Region 6: 7 Delegates to be elected. Threshold = 1/8th of the region's total votes + 1 (rounded to next whole number)

Step Two: Count each voter's first choice, including any write-in candidates. Note that for this election, "None of the Above" will be treated as a candidate in each region. Award delegates to a candidate, each time they have reached the threshold in their region. For example, if the threshold in a region is 21 votes and a candidate has 50 votes, they will be awarded two delegates from that region, and they will have a" remainder" of 8 votes. Award as many delegates as possible using the first choices.

Step Three: Determine how many delegates are left to be awarded per region, and then determine the "remainder" of votes left for each candidate. If a candidate has been awarded no delegates in a region, their entire vote total for that region is their "remainder."

Step Four: In each region, determine the last place candidate in the race for "remainder" votes, *who has not yet received any delegates*, and eliminate them in that region. Now count this candidate's ballots for each voters' next ranked candidate in that region. Then recalculate the "remainder" vote for each remaining candidate in the region. Award any additional delegates to candidates who have now reached the threshold through "remainder" votes. Repeat this process until another delegate has been awarded.

Step Five: Repeat "Step Four" until all remaining delegates have been awarded or until the number of candidates remaining is one greater than the number of delegates left to be elected. At this point, the candidates with the greatest number of "remainder" votes will receive the respective remaining delegates.

During any step in the process, should a tie exist in determining which candidate to eliminate, eliminate the candidate with fewer first choices. If the candidates are tied in first choices, eliminate both of the tied candidates at the same time, unless doing so would create too few candidates left to allocate delegates to. In the latter instance, determine which tied candidate to eliminate by coin-flip.