Grace Ross, the social activist and Governor Deval L. Patrick's only possible competition for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, is ''in serious doubt'' of making the primary ballot because of her failure to gather enough certified voter signatures, according to the state's chief election officer.
Secretary of State William F. Galvin, whose elections division has been monitoring the certification progress by city and town officials, said Ross has about 5,700 signatures, well short of 10,000 that she needs to qualify for the Sept. 14 primary election.
Reached this afternoon, Ross, who ran for governor on the Green-Rainbow ticket in 2006, declined to comment. ''We are going have an announcement in the morning,'' she said.
Galvin cited the figures compiled on the central voter registry, which almost every municipal election office uses to certify voters.
''It's conceivable that a handful of communities have certified signatures but are not using the registry,'' Galvin said. ''But I have not seen them.''
Ross's failure to make the ballot would clear the primary field for Patrick, but would also potentially cost him up to $750,000 in public campaign funding. Those funds are not available in uncontested races.
Even if she had the necessary signatures, Ross would face another hurdle at the Democratic Party's June 5 convention, where candidates must get 15 percent of the delegate vote to qualify for the primary ballot.
Patrick's Republican rival, Charles D. Baker, also does not face a primary contest. His other major general election rival is state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, a former Democrat who left the party last summer to run for governor as an independent. Cahill has until August to submit nomination papers for certification. Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein is also running.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more