Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

North Carolina denies initial ballot access to RFK Jr. and Cornel West

By 37ci3 Jun27,2024

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has voted against giving ballots to new parties supporting presidential candidates. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West On Tuesday, the decision is not final and will be reviewed before November elections in key battleground states.

The decision split the three-member board along party lines The Democratic majority votes to keep West and Kennedy “for now” and the two on the ballot Republican commissioners said they were “disappointed” with the process.

Chairman Alan Hirsch He said more research is needed to “look at the problematic application aggregators” and explore other concerns before making a final decision.

One virtual meetingCommissioners discussed NBC News reports Out-of-state operatives with a GOP firm showed the left-leaning academic gathering signatures for West in an undercover attempt to “buy Joe Biden’s votes,” as one petition gatherer told attendees outside the planned rally. for former President Donald Trump.

They were also concerned that Kennedy’s allies were misusing election laws by forming a new party to get Kennedy’s name on the ballot instead of trying to get an independent candidate on the ballot. The bar for new parties is lower than for independent candidates, who must collect more signatures.

“If this board continues to rubber-stamp thinly veiled so-called parties, national operatives will continue to come in and manipulate our system,” said Democratic-appointed Commissioner Siobhan Millen. “Allowing competing candidates to follow the new party’s more lenient rules potentially allows for partisan gerrymandering.”

They also voted to deny certification to a far-right party founded by anti-abortion activist and perennial presidential candidate Randall Terry.

The decision comes amid a national proxy war between the two major parties over independent and third-party candidates. Democrats generally believe that any minor candidate would split the anti-Trump coalition and hurt Biden, while Republicans do. more complex.

Republicans on the panel objected to these steps, noting that pro-Western and pro-Kennedy parties had submitted the required number of signatures.

“I think it’s subject to political pressure,” said Republican appointee Stacey “Four” Eggers IV.

The Republican National Committee and Trump’s campaign condemned the decision, calling it “election interference” and threatening retaliation.

“Those involved in these un-American acts must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and receive the most severe punishment possible so that these injustices never happen again,” Trump campaign communications director Stephen Cheung said in a statement.

The North Carolina Democratic Party and Clear Choice, a pro-Biden super PAC, sent lengthy complaints to the board, raising issues with the signatures collected and the manner in which they were collected for Kennedy and West.

Asked about an NBC News report that revealed three operatives with a Colorado-based Republican investigative firm were collecting signatures on behalf of the pro-Western Justice for All Party, the party chairman said he was happy to get any help he could get.

“When someone asked me if they could collect signatures for the party, I didn’t think it would be prudent to say no.” Justice for All Chairman Italo Medelius told the commissioners during the meeting.

Democratic Commissioner Jeff Carmon interrupted, “I think it would be prudent to get more information from them and train them properly to make sure what they’re doing is consistent with what you envision in the party. And I don’t see that happening.”

“Yes, sir, you are right,” said Medelius. “It was an oversight that we would correct if we had another petition process.”

The Chairman of the Board said that he will investigate the matter and hold another vote next month.

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By 37ci3

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