Constitution Party of North Carolina

RALEIGH (AP) — Two small political parties in North Carolina that failed to meet candidate support thresholds in November to remain on future ballots will get more time to retain their registered voters, the State Board of Elections agreed to on Tuesday.

The Constitution Party of North Carolina and North Carolina Green Party, which fielded candidates in 2020, are no longer officially recognized by the state. But the five-member board directed election workers not to redesignate the parties' registrants — totaling more than 9,000 — as unaffiliated voters until June 12.

If the parties turn in enough signatures — about 13,900 — by that date, the parties will be recognized again for fielding candidates in upcoming municipal elections, and the party registration of the Green and Constitution voters won't be changed.

The extension ensures voters won't be affiliated with expired political parties, which could prevent them from voting in a primary, the board said in a news release.

The board also unanimously agreed Tuesday that the North Carolina Libertarian Party will remain an official party because the party had candidates on ballots in at least 35 states last fall. About 45,000 of the state’s 7 million voters are registered as Libertarians.

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