Legal challenge launched to remove Ocasio-Cortez from ballot line for progressive leftist Working Families Party

 April 19, 2024

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has never been shy about expressing her progressive left-wing ideological views, but her alignment with a like-minded progressive third party in New York may end up costing her some votes.

A legal effort has been launched to have Ocasio-Cortez kicked off the ballot line for the progressive Working Families Party ahead of the general election in November, according to the New York Post.

The move is reportedly part of a broader effort to reduce the influence and presence of the leftist political party in the Bronx and other New York City boroughs.

Ocasio-Cortez's ballot access challenged

The Post reported that registered independent voter Ian Carpenter filed an objection with the NYC Board of Elections last week that challenges the voter signatures gathered on petitions to allow Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to appear on the Working Families Party's line on the general election ballot in November.

"Her platform is not all helpful to working families," Carpenter said of his legal challenge against the progressive congresswoman. "She’s got great passion but she’s too involved in social experimentation."

Ocasio-Cortez is just one of several WFP-backed Democratic candidates whose petitions to appear on the ballot for both the major and minor parties are being challenged.

That effort is being pushed in part by New York's other significant third party, the Conservative Party, with it's Bronx leader Dion Powell telling the Post that the WFP has no real organization in the borough and that they "do zero work in our county. They have to go."

New York's "fusion voting" allows candidates to appear on ballot for both major and minor parties

According to a 2022 report from Syracuse's The Daily Orange, New York previously recognized and granted ballot access to six third parties but decreased that number to just two in 2020 with the disqualification of the Green, Independence, Libertarian, and Serve America parties.

That left just two minor parties -- the left-leaning Working Families Party and the right-leaning Conservative Party -- and a practice known as "fusion voting" that allows major party candidates to also have their names listed on the ballot under a minor party that they align with or has endorsed them.

The Post noted that the WFP has effectively used that practice in previous cycles to help progressive candidates defeat moderate candidates in the Democratic primary elections and then to similarly boost Democratic nominees over Republicans during general elections.

Was kicked off WFP ballot line in 2020

It was further reported by The Post that this isn't the first time that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's WFP alignment and ballot access has been challenged, as the congresswoman was successfully excluded from the WFP ballot line during the 2020 election.

The Hill reported in May 2020 that a judge ruled that Ocasio-Cortez could not appear as a WFP candidate on that November's general election ballot following a challenge against the validity of her petition signatures that was filed by her main Democratic primary opposition, former CNBC host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.

Due to a rule change brought on by the pandemic, the congresswoman only needed to obtain 15 valid signatures from registered voters who were also WFP members, but it was ultimately determined that only 13 of the 14 submitted signatures were valid.

To be sure, being excluded from the WFP ballot line will likely not have a substantial impact on Ocasio-Cortez's ability to get re-elected, as she will undoubtedly still herald an endorsement from the progressive party. Nor does the WFP seem particularly concerned about the legal challenge, as spokesperson Ravi Mangla told the Post, "This is a distraction meant to waste everyone’s time, and we’re confident our candidates will be on the ballot."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.