The “Patriotic Party” misses the deadline to become an official political party in 2022
The fledgling Patriot Party skipped an appointment with the secretary of state’s office to submit signatures so it could be recognized as an official party, meaning its candidates won’t be on the ballot in the electoral cycle of 2022, the first since its formation.
According to Murphy Hebert, spokesperson for Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Patriot Party Chairman Steve Daniels was scheduled to meet with the office on Friday afternoon, but canceled the meeting minutes before it was supposed to start.
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In order to qualify as an official party for the purposes of ballot access, a party must collect a minimum number of signatures equal to one and one-third percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the last election for the office of Governor. state governor. Based on the vote tally from the last gubernatorial race in 2018, that number is currently pegged at 31,686.
As part of his efforts to gain access to the ballot, Patriot Party character Daniel McCarthy recorded robocalls that began airing in early November, according to the Yellow Sheet Report, a political insider publication at high price only by subscription. Jason Tsinnijinnie, a paid petitioner for the campaign, said he was paid $8 per signature. Several people on social media said some petitioners were paid up to $12 per signature.
Since its inception, the Patriot Party, made up largely of former Republicans and espousing various conservative messages, has been at odds with the Arizona GOP. And McCarthy, who ran in the Republican primary for the US Senate in 2020, strongly criticized the party in an interview with the Arizona Mirror. But he said the party’s goal in trying to get elected was not to siphon off votes from Republicans. Rather, it was about having access to other aspects of the electoral system that is only available to recognized political parties.
Official political parties may appoint observers at polling stations and counting centers during elections. They participate in the logic and accuracy testing of ballot tabulating machines before the elections and take part in the partial manual counting of the ballots after the elections. And they recommend lists of people that election officials use to select poll workers, said Megan Gilbertson, spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Department of Elections.
“I think the confusion with the public is that our desire as a party is purely to have access to and oversee the … voting process and the voting process, and the mechanics of the voting process,” he said. said McCarthy. “The Patriot Party, obviously our desire is not to split the vote of the Republican Party. Our only wish is to work with the county clerks’ offices to be able to access the actual ballot process and the voting process.
McCarthy said the Patriot Party’s desire to participate in the electoral process is based on concerns about election rigging and fraud by the Democratic and Republican parties. He and other Patriot Party figures have long promoted false and debunked allegations of fraud stemming from the 2020 presidential election.
Daniels said the Arizona GOP is pushing a “false narrative” that the Patriot Party is trying to split the Republican vote. But that’s not the party’s intention, he said, and as “avowed conservatives,” Daniels said it wouldn’t be a wise thing to do.
“Our main objective is really not to have candidates under the banner of the Parti patriote, but really to ensure the integrity of the elections, among other things. Our mission statement as the Patriot Party of Arizona is to restore and maintain constitutional conservative leadership in Arizona,” Daniels said. “Our primary goal is to hold the Republican Party accountable and nudge it in the right direction when we see it not performing as it should.”
Daniels also said the Patriot Party is exploring whether there are ways for the party to have observers at the polls and in tabulation rooms at county election centers. Gilbertson said this is only available to officially recognized parties whose members are qualified to appear on the ballot.
Friday’s missed meeting means the Patriot Party will have to wait two years to try again because Friday was the deadline to qualify for ballot access in 2022. State law sets the deadline at 250 days before the election. primary, which will take place on August 2. Only the Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican parties will be eligible for statewide ballot access.
If the Parti patriote had qualified for access to the ballot, it would have had the right to appear on the ballot for the next two general elections. After that, a party can retain ballot access by securing at least 5% of the vote for governor or president, or by resubmitting petitions to qualify.
“We will be an established party for the foreseeable future,” Daniels said.
This story has been updated to include comments from Patriot Party Chairman Steve Daniels.