Nader wins California, McKinney leads in Arkansas and Illinois; Greens have problems getting ballots
GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE
SACRAMENTO (February 6, 2008) - Two-time Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader won the Green Party presidential primary here Tuesday - despite not yet being a declared candidate. He outdistanced six rivals (including two who had already withdrawn) in what was the most competitive Green Party presidential primary ever.
However, the election was marred in California, and other states, by claims that Green party voters found it difficult to get ballots.
With 98.5 precincts reporting, Nader collected about 61 percent of the vote in California, with former six-time Democratic Party congressperson Cynthia McKinney, now a Green, garnering about 26 percent.
Other vote totals included Kat Swift, a Texas organizer, 3 percent; Kent Mesplay, a California environmental engineer, 2 percent; Jesse Johnson, a West Virginia actor and producer, 1.8 percent. Former Black Panther Party leader Elaine Brown had 4.6 percent, although she quit the race in January. University hip-hop professor Jared Ball also withdrew. He had 1.6 percent.
Green Parties participated in four state primaries Tuesday, with Nader winning California (168 delegates) and McKinney in the lead among candidates in Arkansas (8) and Illinois (44). Results from Massachusetts (32) are pending. Greens have ballot access in 21 states. Their nominating convention is in Chicago in July.
Just receiving a ballot was difficult for some Greens. In San Francisco, Greens reported difficultly in getting ballots, and in Illinois, Greens said they were given Democratic Party ballots, and if they managed to get a Green ballot, it couldn't be read by voting machines.
And, in one mostly black Los Angeles County precinct had to challenge their status to get Democratic Party ballots. "These people, life-long Democrats, were unable to vote because they were being told they were Republican voters", said Daniel Brezenoff, a Green Party of California spokesperson and precinct inspector.
The Green Party of California