The local Green Party has filed a lawsuit against the city of Tucson, asking a Pima County Superior Court judge to order that the party remain qualified for the ballot for the 2019 city election cycle.
Green Party officials are challenging the city on minimum eligibility criteria, both in terms of formal candidates for office as well as write-in campaigns.
The party is asking a Superior Court judge to rule that a law that allows political parties who qualify for the ballot in either state or federal elections remain qualified through two federal election cycles also apply at the local city and county level.
“This decision by Roger Randolph for the City Clerk’s office is not only undemocratic voter suppression but patently illegal,” the Pima County Green Party said in a press release Friday.
“It is shameful that at a time when citizens’ democratic rights are under attack by the Trump administration, Tucson would willfully join the attack and violate the law to remove a legitimate third party from the ballot. This action deprives the citizens of Tucson of a third choice on the ballot and protects business as usual with no change to the status quo.”
Officers for the party did not return calls seeking clarification on their lawsuit.
With no official Green Party candidates on the ballot, the lawsuit will decide whether the party will be able to field write-in candidates this fall.
The threshold to put a write in candidate on the ballot for mayor, for example, is 18 signatures.
If the judge rules against the party, candidates would no longer qualify for the city ballot based on current voter participation and party-registration figures, city officials confirm.
A hearing has been set for July 1 in Superior Court.