Constitution Party fighting to secure spot on NC 2024 ballot: 'Nobody owns the vote'

Tom George Image
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Constitution Party fighting to secure spot on NC 2024 ballot
Three third parties are working to get on the November ballot in North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The race for the White House is heating up and North Carolina is set to play a key role as a battleground state.

And the list of candidates could be getting a little longer. One party is fighting to secure its spot on the ballot, and it claims that the state is dragging its feet while the clock is ticking.

As it stands, the Democratic, Republican, Green, Libertarian, and No Labels parties have secured spots on the November ballot.

By all accounts, North Carolina is expected to be close in the race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump along with the crucial governor's race.

Now, there are three other parties also trying to get on the ballot.

Randall Terry is the presidential nominee for the Constitution Party. The Memphis native visited North Carolina not just to campaign but to fight to have his party recognized in November.

The party has spent months collecting signatures, and after a back and forth, it feels as if it has been left in the dark and the delays are keeping the party from hosting its convention by July 1 to officially nominate candidates.

"Nobody owns the vote. You have to earn people's vote. What we're saying is that the people of North Carolina, they have a right a right to go ahead and have more choices on the ballot," said NC Constitution Party chair Al Pisano.

The State Board of Elections told ABC11 that the delays are because of the long process of verifying signatures, and it said it is doing the same thing for The Justice for All Party representing Cornel West, and the We The People party representing Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

If all get approved, voters will have a lot of third-party options.

The Constitution Party is staunchly anti-abortion, and experts said they believe that could potentially reach some of the same voters who might vote Republican.

"Our campaign is based on the three D agenda. Defend children. Defeat Biden. And destroy the Democrat Party," Terry told ABC11.

But with third-party candidates on both sides of the spectrum, political experts said they believe it could be a wash for the major party candidates, and it could also be the difference maker in a close race.

"I think this year, with the unpopularity of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden at the top of the Democratic and Republican tickets, we may see another 3, 4% of the voters splinter off. And that could be very determinative. In a very close election cycle with what we're expecting here in North Carolina in November," said Michael Bitzer, a professor at Catawba College.

The State Board of Elections told ABC11 that it will meet soon to approve those three third parties. Because of a similar issue with the Green Party a few years ago, the board said it could expand the deadline for the third parties to name their candidates beyond July 1 to give the parties time to submit their candidates by September 6 when they start distributing ballots.