One of the most important things we can do as members of the Green-Rainbow Party is to vote, to make our Green voices heard. But if we don’t have candidates on the ballot, we can only perpetuate the political status quo. In November 2022, we lack the excitement of a presidential campaign, but we elect key state officers and representatives who can kill or promote essential initiatives in this time of domestic violence, war, and pandemic.
So if you want to get more involved in GRP politics and help bring attention to our values and messages, “signature gathering” is easy and rewarding.
“Signature gathering is the essence of democracy,” says David Spanagel, Male Co-Chair of the Candidate Development and Legal Committee for the GRP. “It’s not soliciting, it’s a Constitutionally-protected political action.”
The process of signature gathering can be done with just a little of your free time and in the company of a friend or two. If you’re sociable and have faith in GRP issues, you have all the skills necessary to get our candidates to the all-important step of being on the November ballot.
In Massachusetts, any person interested in appearing on the ballot in a statewide election must gather a certain number of signatures from registered voters who live in the Commonwealth. In our case, the team of Gloria Caballero-Roca (Auditor) and Juan Sanchez (Secretary of State) needs at least 5,000 signatures to be submitted to town and city Clerks for certification by August 2nd. Since some signatures may be disqualified, it is wise for us to gather at least 7,000 signatures.
So when you step into the booth to vote on November 8th, you can take pride in knowing that your efforts helped put Gloria and Juan on the ballot to advance the Green-Rainbow vision into the State House!
Involving only a petition, a clipboard, and a pen, signature gathering can be done in a variety of different locations. Common locations include public events such as fairs, festivals, farmer’s markets, parades, concerts, and Little League games. You can also go door-to-door throughout neighborhoods. You can canvass on foot, though it is also possible to set up a table and some chairs.
“Go to places where you have a captive audience that isn’t in a rush to buy groceries and get home to make dinner,” Spanagel suggests.
The process is simple and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. You can quickly and politely ask people if they would be interested in “signing a petition to put Green-Rainbow candidates on the November ballot?” If they agree, you present them with a pen and a clipboard that includes a petition designated for the town or city where that person lives (So for example, a person from Springfield can only sign a petition designated for Springfield, and a person from Boston can only sign a petition designated for Boston). Each person must include their signature and the street address where they are registered to vote.
On occasion, you may have to clarify that signing a petition is not a vote for the candidates or registration in the party. It is only to get the candidates’ names on the November ballot. People registered in any political party or Unenrolled can sign a GRP petition.
Once you have submitted your signatures to the City or Town Clerk(s) they will be certified for authenticity and it will be your responsibility to collect them back and present them to a GRP Regional Signature Gathering Coordinator who will assist in delivering them to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office in Boston by the August 30 final deadline.
If you wish to obtain prepared petitions for signature gathering, you can contact David Spanagel at [email protected].