By Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic
Greens in Arizona are scrambling to keep their status as a recognized political party in 2020 after state lawmakers moved up the deadline for them to submit tens of thousands of signatures.
The Greens and any other party aiming for recognized status must now file at least 31,686 signatures by Nov. 28, instead of the previous deadline that was in February — 70 days later.
The new deadline is one of the earliest of its kind in the country, according to Richard Winger, editor of the San Francisco-based newsletter Ballot Access News.
Losing 70 days to gather signatures has been a hardship, said Liana West, secretary of the Arizona Green Party.
“It makes us feel like we are being targeted,” West said.
And because the number of required signatures is tied to election turnout, the relatively high level of voters in 2018 means the Greens and any new political party have to collect more signatures than they typically have had to.
The Secretary of State’s Office has until Dec. 1 to announce which political parties continue to qualify for recognized status.