The Working Families Party is making an explicit pitch for votes for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on their ballot line as the party faces new hurdles in securing ballot access.
The organization on Thursday released a digital ad featuring Democrats like Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, Senators Julia Salazar and Alessandra Biaggi, as well as Democratic House candidates Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones urging votes for the Biden-Harris ticket on the WFP ballot line.
Candidates in New York can run on multiple ballot lines, a process known as fusion voting.
"Now, WFP is the party that's fighting to tax the billionaires, so hospitals and schools don’t face devastating cuts," the group said.
"Pass Medicare for All. Win a Green New Deal. And end racist policing. We need to beat Trump — but we also need to build the power of our movement. So when you vote, first thing: Look on the ballot for the Working Families Party. Voting on the WFP line for Biden counts the same to beat Trump— and you'll also be voting for the New York that you want.”
In prior years, a vote for the Democratic nominee on the WFP line was largely symbolic. But new ballot access measures — passed after the party endorsed Cynthia Nixon over Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a 2018 Democratic primary — could make it harder for the WFP to retain its automatic spot on the ballot.
Until this election cycle, parties needed at least 50,000 votes for their gubernatorial candidates to keep their automatic ballot status or begin a cumbersom process of petitioning to get on the ballot.
The new law, which had been paired with the creation of a system of publicly financed campaigns in the state, requires parties to receive at least 130,000 votes at the top of its ticket or 2 percent of all votes cast. The previous threshold was 50,000 votes for gubernatorial candidates.