Ballot Access Drive 2018
We need to gather thousands of signatures before June 1st to get our slate of Green candidates on the ballot. Here's how you can help:
-Contribute to our ballot access fund to help hire paid signature gatherers
-Join our volunteer team to gather ballot access signatures
-Apply to become a paid signature gatherer by contacting Dave Schwab at email@example.com or 518-610-2708.
-Spread the word and get signatures from your family and friends
Nomination Paper petition forms:
Michael White for Governor Nomination papers
Tiffany Anderson for Lieutenant Governor Nomination papers
Brad Karas for Secretary of State Nomination papers
Nathan Pelkey for State Treasurer Nomination papers
Ken Yorgan for Congress District 1 Nomination papers (Only residents of Congressional District 1 may sign: all of Kenosha & Racine counties; most of Walworth Co. except Whitewater; eastern part of Rock Co. including Janesville; southern part of Waukesha Co. including Wales & Muskego; & southern part of Milwaukee Co. including Oak Creek & Hales Corners)
Read on to learn how you can help gather signatures to get Greens on the ballot!
Ballot access rules and regulations
- Signatures must be collected from April 15 to June 1. The deadline for filing completed petitions (along with other required campaign filings) is 5pm on June 1.
- Candidates for statewide office need 2000 valid signatures; for US House of Representatives, 1000 valid signatures; for State Senate, 400; for State Assembly, 200. Candidates may file up to twice the number of signatures needed.
- Petitions may be challenged after they are filed, and signatures may be ruled invalid. For this reason, it is recommended that candidates file significantly more signatures than the number needed in order to be less vulnerable to challenges.
- Petition signers must be eligible to vote in the candidate's district (for statewide candidates, this includes the entire state of Wisconsin). They must write their residential address; PO Boxes are not valid. Ditto marks are acceptable if they follow correct and complete address or date information.
- People do not need to be registered to vote to sign, but they must be eligible to vote: a US citizen residing in the district, at least 18 years old, not convicted of a felony for which they have not been pardoned.
- Out of state residents may gather petition signatures if they would not be barred from voting if they lived in Wisconsin (see eligibility requirements above).
- An individual may only sign ONE petition for each office. For example, one person may not sign for two different candidates for governor, or both of their signatures may be ruled invalid. However, they can still sign for other candidates if they have not yet signed petitions for those offices.
- Petition circulators may correct missing or illegible address or date information before filing petitions.
- The circulator must personally present the nomination paper to each signer. The nomination paper may not be left unattended on counters, bulletin boards or elsewhere.
- Before filing the petition papers, the circulator must fill out, sign and date the certification on each paper, including their complete residential address. Do NOT fill out the box that says "Page No.".
Ballot Access Petitioning Tips
- Every signature helps! Whether you can go out and gather 100 signatures, or get friends and family to fill a sheet of 10, we need your help to successfully put our candidates on the ballot.
- You can download and print nomination papers from our Candidates page. You only need to print page 1; page 2 contains rules, regulations and other information. We encourage you to gather signatures for all the candidates you are eligible to petition for; people who sign for 1 candidate will usually sign for several, making for more effective petitioning.
- Make sure to read the rules and regulations above before you start gathering signatures. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate with WIGP petition captains, let us know how many signatures you have, and make sure you know how to fill out the forms correctly.
- You can mail completed forms to Wisconsin Green Party, PO Box 108, Madison, WI 53701. We MUST receive forms by Thursday May 31st in order to be able to file them on Friday June 1st.
- Carry your petitions on a clipboard with a rubber band holding the bottom so there is no chance they will fly away. You may want a plastic cover sheet to protect your petitions from rain and various other liquids that could ruin all your hard work. (Pro-tip: put your finished sheets in a folder inside something waterproof).
- Remember, you are allowed to fill out all the spaces, except for the signature space if the elector has trouble with writing. The information has to be legible, the signature does not. If you want, you can put several different candidates' forms back to back and tell people to sign and name themselves on all, but only put address on the first sheet. As the circulator, you are allowed to fill out the missing address and date information. Just make sure you can read their address before they walk away!
- Try carrying 2 clipboards with at least 2 candidates' forms on each one. That way, if you are talking to 2 people (which happens frequently) you can ask them both to sign. After the first person says yes (or no) ask the second person "would you be willing to sign (too)?" If you have different candidates' forms on each clipboard, ask them to switch after they finish. This is a great way to get a lot of signatures at once.
- If a signer doesn't know whether to check Town, Village or City, you can tell them to skip it as long as they write the name of the municipality - you will be able to check and fill in the correct box for type of municipality later.
- Wear a button, T-shirt, etc. to identify yourself as a Green Party worker. It makes you seem official and less suspicious - yes, people will ask you if they need to write their address and if you will send them mail. Reassure them that they won't receive mail or email (unless they want to sign up separately for Green Party emails).
- Petition at festivals, parks, universities, community events, in front of libraries, bus stops, anywhere people gather in public in large numbers. The most effective spots are where people are waiting around for something. You can get good numbers in front of food trucks. Door to door is okay, but you probably will get a similar number of yeses, and you have the added time of walking up to each door... that's probably a max of 10 signatures an hour as opposed to a max of about 50 signatures an hour. Make sure to get all your family and friends to sign though. They might take longer (door to door or otherwise) to collect, but they are easy yes answers for you.
- A sample pitch you can use: "Excuse me, hi! Are you eligible to vote in Wisconsin?" If yes: "Great, can you help me out quick with a signature to get Green candidates on the ballot and give people another choice?" When you ask them to help you out, people are more inclined to help someone who is volunteering on the street than to do something for a cause they might not know much about. The word "quick" reassures them it won't take long. Many people support giving people more choices on the ballot, even if they don't support the Green Party in particular. If they are reluctant, repeat "This is just to get them on the ballot and give people another choice, it doesn't mean you have to support them".
- Use positive body language to encourage people to stop and sign. Wave hi to them and make eye contact when you first approach them. As you ask them to sign, begin to hand them the clipboard and pen. When they take it and begin to sign, thank them right away and smile. If you are friendly and make a positive impression, people will be more likely to sign.
- People will ask you about the Green Party and the candidates. Be able to recite a few things, and if you are at a loss for words, remember the four pillars - Social justice, Peace, Ecology, Grassroots Democracy (SPEG or SPED depending on which you are inclined to remember better). If they are trying to get you into a debate, it's usually best to walk away - they don't want to sign, and they are wasting your petitioning time.
- Remember, our top priority right now is not necessarily to win votes, just to get our candidates as a choice on the ballot. You don't want to take a lot of time explaining the candidates. Just tell people some basic information about the Green Party and focus on the common ground of agreeing with more choices on the ballot. You will generally work more quickly and effectively this way.
- Don't be timid about saying you have the right to petition in public spaces if anyone tells you to leave. Sidewalks in front of libraries, street festivals, parks, bus stops, outside University buildings are all fair game. Don't let any security tell you off because it is one of your First Amendment rights.
- Set a personal signature goal and commit the time to do it. For example, if your goal is 100 signatures for each of 4 candidates, and you gather an average of 20 signatures per hour, schedule at least 5 hours of petitioning time to reach your personal goal.
- Remember: it's a numbers game. Some people will say yes and others will say no, but if we ask enough people then we'll hit our target. Don't take anything personally, and don't engage with argumentative people. Do take inspiration from the supportive people, and do plan enough time to hit your personal signature goal.
- Getting people to sign for 4 or 5 candidates can be a bit of a challenge, but it's doable. If it seems people's enthusiasm is waning after the first couple of sheets, try saying something to encourage them: thank them, or mention that you know one of the candidates, or that the candidates are out gathering signatures too. They're more likely to make the effort if they see you know the candidate, or if they see the candidate is out there working to get on the ballot.
- You can still petition when the weather is rainy. Get plastic cover sheets to keep your petition sheets dry, and bring an umbrella. As people sign, hold the umbrella to keep them and your petition sheets dry.
- Go out to events with a buddy or a team to encourage each other and show new petitioners the ropes.
- Have fun and be proud of yourself for working for a cause you believe in!
Email email@example.com if you have any questions.