Thursday, April 4, 2024

Kennedy Has Needed Signatures To Make Ballot In Idaho


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in Brooklyn on February 18. Photo by Jason Schott.

Independent Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s campaign announced on Thursday that it has collected the necessary amount of signatures to make the ballot in Idaho. 

This is a significant victory for the Kennedy campaign, as it comes a month after it won a ballot access lawsuit that challenged Idaho's unconstitutional early deadline of March 15 for independent presidential candidates to qualify for Idaho's general election ballot.

As the Kennedy campaign described it in the press release from March 5, "Kennedy challenged Section 34-708A of the Idaho Code mandating that independent candidates file nomination petitions containing a minimum of 1,000 verified signatures with Secretary of State McGrane no later than March 15. In Anderson v. Celebrezze, The United States Supreme Court, more than 40 years ago, clearly established that a March 20 deadline imposed by Ohio for independent presidential candidates to qualify for a state ballot was unconstitutional as too early and impairing the rights of voters to cast meaningful votes for candidates other than the two major political candidates."

Soon after Kennedy's campaign filed its lawsuit, the Idaho State Legislature commenced a race to amend the statute to make it comply with Supreme Court precedent. On February 29, during an informal status conference, Judge Winmill informed Sec. McGrane that he would extend the March 15 deadline if the state legislature failed to promptly amend the challenged law. The Idaho legislature has since passed a bill moving the new signature deadline to August.

This was the second constitutional challenge to state petitioning deadlines that Kennedy 24 has won, as it also struck down the Utah deadline this past December.

The Kennedy campaign collected 2,000 signatures, double what is necessary to make the Idaho ballot.

Kennedy, along with his running mate Nicole Shanahan, is already on the ballot in Utah, and Hawaii's Office of Elections confirmed Kennedy supporters have collected the required signatures to establish the "We The People" party. He has collected all the necessary signatures for ballot access in North Carolina, which is announced Monday; New Hampshire, and Nevada.

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