RFK Jr. Intends to Meet Iowa Ballot Access Signature Requirements in One Day

The independent presidential candidate will hold a voter rally in Des Moines on April 13 as his ballot access push continues.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. intends to collect the required valid signatures for ballot access in Iowa during a voter rally in Des Moines on April 13.

In Iowa, independent candidates can gain ballot access in one day if 500 eligible voters attend an assembly and sign a form attesting they were present, according to a statement from Mr. Kennedy’s campaign.

Mr. Kennedy has said multiple times that he will be on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. He is on the ballot in Utah and has gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot in Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, and North Carolina.

Mr. Kennedy’s campaign announced on April 9 that it had collected 4,800 signatures, around double the number required, to get on the ballot in Nebraska.

On April 4, the campaign said it gathered 2,000 signatures to qualify for the Idaho ballot. That also represents two times the number of minimum signatures, the campaign noted.

To combat anticipated challenges from Democrats and Republicans regarding the validity of signatures, Mr. Kennedy’s campaign has said they are collecting 60 percent more signatures than required in every state.

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Last month, Mr. Kennedy filed a lawsuit against Idaho, claiming an unconstitutional signature deadline.

The legal action challenged Section 34-708A of the Idaho code requiring that independent candidates file nomination petitions with a minimum of 1,000 verified signatures with the Secretary of State’s office no later than March 15.

The lawsuit cited a case from 1980 filed by then-independent presidential candidate John Anderson. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a March 20 deadline imposed by the state of Ohio for independent presidential candidates violated the Constitution because it was too early and didn’t allow voters to learn enough about any candidates other than those in the two major parties.

The state legislature voted to amend the law.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill for the District of Idaho notified Idaho Secretary of State Phil McGrane that he would extend the March 15 deadline if the state legislature didn’t take that action.

Utah had been the first deadline facing the Kennedy campaign until Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, a Republican, announced that she would extend the deadline for independent presidential candidates to gain ballot access to March 5.

Mr. Kennedy filed a lawsuit against Utah officials on Dec. 4, 2023, citing an “unconstitutional early filing deadline” that prevented ballot access for independent presidential candidates.

The legal action challenged Utah’s Jan. 8 deadline requiring independent presidential candidates to collect and verify 1,000 signatures from qualified voters.

Ultimately, although the deadline was extended, Mr. Kennedy’s campaign held a news conference before the Jan. 8 deadline announcing that he had met the requirements to appear on the state’s general election ballot.

Before Mr. Kennedy introduced Nicole Shanahan, a Silicon Valley lawyer, entrepreneur, and investor, as his running mate last week, his campaign was actively gathering signatures in 16 states.

Multiple states require that independent and third-party candidates name a vice president before collecting signatures. Mr. Kennedy’s announcement of Ms. Shanahan opened the signature-collection process in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont and Virginia.

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (R) announces his running mate Nicole Shanahan (L) in Oakland, Calif., on March 26, 2024. (Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)
Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (R) announces his running mate Nicole Shanahan (L) in Oakland, Calif., on March 26, 2024. (Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

In January, Mr. Kennedy’s campaign said it had filed paperwork in six states to create a political party. The move was made to get his name on the ballots with fewer voter signatures than those states require for unaffiliated candidates.

A statement by Mr. Kennedy’s campaign reported that filing for political party status in the six states reduced the number of signatures required for him to gain ballot access by about 330,000.

The We the People party was established in five states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Mississippi, and North Carolina. The Texas Independent Party was also formed.

American Values 2024, a super PAC working to get Mr. Kennedy elected, said it has collected enough valid signatures for the candidate to get on the ballot in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and South Carolina.

Mr. Kennedy has faced ongoing scrutiny in his ballot access quest from the Democratic National Committee.

Last month, the organization announced the creation of a team to counter third-party and independent presidential candidates.

It hired Lis Smith, a veteran Democrat strategist who managed Pete Buttigieg’s unsuccessful 2020 presidential campaign, to spearhead an aggressive communication plan to combat Mr. Kennedy, independent Cornel West, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

The DNC and the president’s supporters are accusing Mr. Kennedy of being propped up by the Trump movement, as well as highlighting similar Trump–Kennedy policy stances in the areas of border security, U.S. funding for Ukraine, and vaccine mandates.

Mr. Kennedy entered the presidential race last April, challenging President Joe Biden for the Democrat party’s nomination.

After encountering multiple hurdles by the DNC and accusing the organization of “rigging the primary” and not allowing any candidate to compete against President Biden, Mr. Kennedy announced he would run as an independent in October 2023.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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