RFK Jr. election signatures may not be valid in Nevada without VP

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By journalsofus.com

With Robert F. Kennedy Jr. set to reveal his running mate on Tuesday, an unforeseen setback has arisen in Nevada, complicating the independent candidate’s path to gaining access to the ballot in the Silver State.

Kennedy’s selection as vice president comes as he needs a running mate to qualify for election in several states. And despite the campaign advertisement Celebrating the amassing of 15,000 signatures in Nevada earlier this month, which exceeds what is needed to appear on the ballot in November, the campaign could be forced to begin its signature collection from scratch in the state because it did not name to a running mate when he presented Kennedy’s petition. , according to documents presented by Kennedy.

Snowfall presidential candidate guide states that independent candidate petitions must include the names of the presidential and vice presidential candidates on the petition to be valid, the Nevada secretary of state’s office confirmed.

Documents requested from Nevada’s office revealed that Kennedy only names himself in the petition., in violation of the rules and nullifying the signatures collected in the state by his campaign.

While this setback takes him one step closer to his goal of securing a spot on the ballot in all 50 states, the campaign still has time to collect new signatures once Kennedy’s running mate is named on Tuesday. The deadline to file the petition in Nevada is August 7.

Kennedy’s campaign said it had not yet submitted the signatures to the Nevada office.

The campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Where is Kennedy on the ballot?

The only state that has confirmed Kennedy is on the ballot is Utah. Each state has different laws for an independent candidate to appear on the ballot, making it one of the most difficult parts of the campaign for a candidate who doesn’t belong to a major party.

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. poses with supporters during a meet and greet following a voter rally at the St. Cecilia Music Center on February 10, 2024 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Emily Elconin/Getty Images

In New Hampshire, independent candidates must file a Declaration of Intent during the June filing period before submitting at least 3,000 signatures to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office.

The Office of Elections in Hawaii confirmed that Kennedy supporters have collected enough signatures to establish the “We the People” party, which will then be able to name Kennedy as its presidential candidate on the ballot. New Hampshire and Hawaii also require a vice presidential candidate to be named before Kennedy can gain access to the ballot in either state.

It is unclear whether signatures collected in other states that require designated running mates for independent presidential candidates to gain access to the ballot will also be affected.

Kennedy’s supporting super PAC, American Values ​​2024, has helped collect signatures for ballot access and said in December it planned to spend between $10 million and $15 million on the effort. But in February, the Democratic National Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Kennedy’s decision independent presidential campaign and the super PAC that supports him, American Values ​​2024, alleging that the two were illegally colluding for ballot access for Kennedy.

American Values ​​2024 said it would stop collecting signatures for ballot access on its behalf after saying it had met signature thresholds in Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and South Carolina.

The PAC is now refocusing its efforts in an attempt to counter Democratic and Republican attempts to weaken third-party campaigns.

“Given the success of the campaign, we will no longer be collecting signatures in any other states and will continue to fight the [Democratic National Committee] either [Republican National Committee] when they attempt to interfere with the constitutional right of American voters who overwhelmingly want independent candidates on the ballot,” the PAC said in a Press release earlier this month.

The Nevada secretary of state’s office said that on March 7, two days after Kennedy announced his campaign had met the signature threshold, he sent a memo to all independent presidential candidates requesting ballot access that explicitly stated that his filings with the office were to consist of “a declaration of candidacy and a petition for candidacy, in which the person must also designate a candidate for vice president.”

For the major parties, the vice presidential candidate is traditionally announced near the nominating conventions, and the presidential and vice presidential candidates formally accept their parties’ nomination at the convention. The Democratic National Convention will take place August 19-24 and the Republican National Convention will take place July 15-18.

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