NC No Longer Recognizes Green, Constitution Parties

Jan 27, 2021

Boxes of absentee ballot requests sit at the Durham County Board of Elections office in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
Credit Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Two small political parties in North Carolina are no longer officially recognized because they failed to meet candidate support thresholds in November, the State Board of Elections announced on Wednesday.

The Constitution Party of North Carolina and North Carolina Green Party both became official parties in 2018 by meeting state requirements. That meant they could field candidates on ballots that year and in 2020, and registered voters could affiliate with them.

But neither party qualified to remain recognized because none of their presidential and gubernatorial candidates in North Carolina received at least 2% of the vote, board attorney Katelyn Love wrote to party leaders. The board will meet Feb. 23 to direct registered voters for both parties — currently more than 9,000 combined — be labeled unaffiliated again.

The Libertarian Party's candidates for governor and president also failed to meet the 2% threshold, but the party says it met another qualification threshold — the party had candidates on ballots in at least 35 states last fall. The board will consider that extension next month. About 45,000 of the state's nearly 7.1 million voters are registered as Libertarians.

The Constitution and Green parties could be reinstated to offer candidates for the 2022 and 2024 elections if they each collect about 13,750 signatures — 0.25% of the total votes cast for governor — of registered voters before June 2022. Registered voters previously affiliated with the parties would have to act to change their registrations.