Site Links


Donald Trump Campaign Tried To kick Republican Rivals Off Ballot In Illinois

The campaign group of Donald Trump tried to get his rival Republicans kicked off the ballot in Illinois – but the attempt failed when his state chair failed to bring duplicate copies of the required forms.
The Guardian has learned that on Wednesday, the last day for candidates to object to signatures submitted by rival campaigns to get on the ballot, chair Kent Gray showed up at the Illinois board of elections a few minutes before it closed. Illinois has some of the toughest ballot access laws in the country, and qualifying for the ballot requires gathering a different number of signatures in each of the state’s 18 congressional districts. Candidates often stumble trying to fulfill the state’s requirements; conservative challenger Rick Santorum faced major obstacles in 2012.
Approached by the Guardian, Gray referred all questions to campaign spokesman Hope Hicks, who said he “was not available” to the press. Hicks did not respond to follow-up questions from the Guardian.

State politicians have long had a “gentleman’s agreement” that candidates would not attempt to contest each other’s signatures and throw each other off the ballot. But challenging petition signatures as a form of political chicanery in the Land of Lincoln has a long history. Barack Obama first won election to the state senate in 1996 by successfully challenging the signatures of his incumbent opponent and getting her removed from the ballot.
It had been widely reported that the campaign of Governor John Kasich of Ohio, a vocal Trump critic, had problems gathering signatures in Illinois, and representatives of Kasich, along with the campaigns of Florida senator Marco Rubio and neurosurgeon Ben Carson, were monitoring for any objections from rival camps. It seemed that they had dodged a bullet until Gray walked in attempting to object to a number of candidates on the grounds that some of their signatures were invalid, although exactly who he focused on is unclear. 
But Illinois law requires that someone objecting to a candidate’s nominating papers bring both the original and two duplicates. Gray only brought the original. His arrival in the board of elections office with just minutes left set off a scramble among those campaigns who had representatives there to monitor proceedings. Several had brought objections of their own to file defensively, only if someone objected to their presence on the ballot.
Credit:The Guardian
The Carson campaign made ready to file their defensive objections but apparently did so in such a rush, with only minutes left, that they did not file sufficient duplicates as well.
The Illinois board of elections confirmed to the Guardian that there were two failed attempts to challenge the nominating papers of presidential candidates on Wednesday.
But because of Gray’s snafu in failing to provide the needed duplicate copies of the objections, every Republican candidate who filed will be on the ballot in Illinois for the state’s 15 March primary.


Post a Comment