New York's minor parties this year faced the challenge of reaching a higher threshold to maintain its ballot status and, potentially, its existence as an ongoing party.
At stake: Reaching at least 130,000 votes or 2% of all votes cast on a party's presidential ticket. Failure to do so would mean removal from the ballot in the next cycle, a potentially expensive petitioning process to get back on and notifying voters enrolled in the party their affiliation has been changed to no party.
Not every ballot line is going to make the cut, including those that ran independent candidates.
The Green Party nominated Syracuse's Howie Hawkins for president and the Independence Party backed bitcoin millionaire Brock Pierce. The Libertarian Party nominated Jo Jorgensen. At this point, none will reach the threshold.
But the Conservative Party and the Working Families Party, two different minor parties with very different agendas are meeting the vote threshold. Conservative Party Chairman Gerry Kassar chalks this up to President Trump's strong coattails.
"More than the party I think we're a magnet for pro-Trump voters," Kassar said. "I think we picked up a lot of additional voters that way. The party's enrollment is 151,000, so if we come to 300,000 you can see that's almost twice our enrollment."
And he says other issues were at play: a controversial bail law and even fatigue with pandemic restrictions.
"There were a lot of ballots cast on a personal view of COVID relating to the economy which I think is a big, big issue with so many people," Kassar said. "And there were a lot of people who wanted to send a message that these criminal justice reforms were wacky."
The Working Families Party has of course reached a different conclusion on the results, pointing to progressive enthusiasm following the June primaries.
"We feel quite fortified and excited by the outcomes even when there's a lot of uncertainty in other races across the country," said State Director Sochie Nnaemeka. "I think it really demonstrates across the country that voters have a larger, greater appetite for greater progressive change."
The party was rallied around by a range of New York Democrats who backed a get-out-the-vote campaign them including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who urged voters to cast Biden-Harris ballots on the WFP line.
"Democrats of many different stripes recognize it is not reaching as broad an audience as it must -- young people, people of color, queer folks, immigrants -- people who do not feel at home in the two party system," Nnaemeka said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was accused of pushing this law because he wanted some revenge on the WFP for endorsing Cynthia Nixon, his 2018 primary opponent. Cuomo in an interview with WAMC on Thursday insisted that was not the case.
Instead, the measure was meant to cull lesser-known parties like the Serve America Movement -- a ballot line created by his former ally and ex-Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner who had a falling out with Cuomo -- ahead of the start of a system of public financing for political campaigns.
"We always expected the Working Families Party to survive," he said. "It was set deliberately so. We always expected the Conservative Party to survive."