Kennedy Racks Up Ballot Access, Legal Wins Despite DNC Attacks

LOS ANGELES, CA—JUNE 27, 2024—The Kennedy campaign is mounting the strongest independent challenge to the corporate-funded parties in more than 30 years. In a desperate effort to maintain their political monopoly, the DNC and its big donors are doing everything in their power to deny Americans the right to vote for Kennedy, including pouring millions into a lawfare campaign against his ballot access.

As the campaign has racked up ballot access victories and submitted two, three, and even four times the number of signatures required to qualify in each state, the Biden campaign has grown increasingly panicked and resorted to ever more frivolous and comical efforts to keep voters from choosing Kennedy. 

Here’s a list of lawsuits and legal challenges filed by and against the Kennedy campaign:

Hawaii

In Hawaii, Kennedy supporters collected more than three times the signatures needed to qualify We The People in February, a new party Kennedy supporters formed. In March, the Democratic Party of Hawaii challenged We The People. Normally, petition challenges rest on claims that a party or candidate did not collect enough valid signatures. Because volunteers had turned in so many signatures, the Democratic Party was unable to challenge their signatures and attempted to challenge the party’s bylaws and leadership instead. The Hawaii Office of Elections held a hearing in April where We The People’s all-volunteer leadership faced off against the Democratic Party’s lawyers and staff and won a striking victory.

“The Hawaii Office of Elections delivered a very fair and thoughtful decision today in favor of our grassroots, We The People Hawaii,” said Kim Haine, chair of the State Central Committee of We The People. “I’m so proud of how our officers and volunteers represented Hawaii in this real-life David vs. Goliath legal challenge.” 

Utah 

On Dec. 7, the Kennedy campaign successfully sued Utah to move its unconstitutional ballot access deadline from Jan. 8, 2024 to March 5, 2024. 

The lawsuit filed on Dec. 4 asserted that “the current deadline is the earliest deadline ever sought to be imposed on independent presidential candidates in the modern era. No federal court has ever upheld a January deadline [for independent presidential candidates].”

“In a democracy, the people are supposed to decide with their votes who gets into office, not state officials who prevent popular candidates from getting on the ballot,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Idaho 

On Feb. 12, the Kennedy campaign filed another successful ballot access lawsuit challenging Idaho’s unconstitutional early deadline for independent presidential candidates to qualify for Idaho’s 2024 general election ballot.

Kennedy challenged Section 34-708A of the Idaho Code mandating 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, too early, and impairing the rights of voters to cast meaningful votes for candidates other than the two major party candidates.

Days after the Kennedy campaign filed their lawsuit, the Idaho State Legislature commenced a race to amend the statute to bring it into compliance with Supreme Court precedent. On Feb. 29, during an informal status conference, Judge Winmill informed Secretary McGrane he would extend the March 15 deadline if the state legislature failed to quickly amend the challenged law. 

New York 

New York is one of the most notoriously difficult states for independent ballot access in the country. It combines a high number of signatures with one of the shortest petitioning windows nationwide. It also has many unique rules opponents can use to disqualify signatures. Despite the challenges, our team collected more than 135,000 signatures in six weeks — three times the required amount. 

The campaign submitted the signatures on May 28 and Democratic Party supporters challenged 109,000 of them, claimed they were permeated with fraud, and challenged Kennedy’s residence. A DNC-aligned super PAC, Clear Choice Action, also began calling petition signers and attempting to pressure them to say circulators misled them about the purpose of the petition. The DNC’s inability to challenge the sheer number of signatures we turned in has once again led them to attempt unconventional and desperate hail-mary challenges. Our attorneys are defending the signatures and we will be on the ballot in New York.

North Carolina 

In swing state North Carolina, Kennedy supporters formed the We The People party. The state requires 13,757 valid signatures to qualify a party and petitioners turned in more than 23,000. 

The North Carolina Democratic Party filed a letter this month urging the State Board of Elections to reject petitions from We The People party to recognize it as an official party. The Democratic Party says the party is using a loophole in the law to pretend it’s a political party when it’s a candidate campaign committee so the candidate doesn't have to collect more signatures and can avoid contribution limitations. 

The DNC-aligned super PAC Clear Choice Action is also working to stop any third-party or independent candidates from gaining traction before the November election. Clear Choice Action is trying to get our petition signers to withdraw their signatures. On Wednesday, the North Carolina State Board of Elections denied certification to We The People in a straight partisan vote. The two Republicans on the Board voted to certify the party while all three Democrats voted against it. 

“I must say I’m disappointed with how we have handled this issue,” Republican member Stacy Eggers said. “Because it just appears to me that this is yielding to political pressure from respective parties and political action groups to keep other candidates and other parties who are not our parties off the ballot.”

Our supporters turned in nearly twice as many signatures as we need so the Democratic Party’s efforts to disenfranchise North Carolina voters won’t succeed. Our party, We The People North Carolina, has broad precedent on its side, will fight this decision, and will win. 

Indiana 

Indiana requires ballot access petitions to be submitted to county clerks for verification before petitions are filed with the Secretary of State. However, Indiana fails to impose any deadline for the county clerks to validate petition signatures. This permits county clerks the unilateral authority to prevent otherwise valid ballot access petition signatures from being filed with the Secretary of State by simply failing to validate petition signatures in time.

This signature validation scheme imposes a severe burden on the collection and timely filing of ballot access petition signatures which are afforded the highest level of protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Indiana has no state interest in failing to impose a deadline on county clerks to ensure ballot access petition signatures are verified in time and filed with and counted by the Secretary of State.

Nevada 

The Kennedy campaign is challenging the Nevada Secretary of State’s change in position as to its interpretation of conflicting statutory ballot access requirements. Nevada statute prohibits the naming of more than one candidate on a nominating petition. In January, the Nevada Secretary of State expressly instructed to not name a vice presidential candidate on the Nevada nomination petition and then, in exercise of the statutory requirement to file a nomination paper with the Secretary of State before circulation, the Nevada Secretary of State expressly instructed the campaign we could circulate the nomination petition which was filed and did not name Kennedy’s vice presidential candidate. 

In March, after the campaign had completed the collection of more than 20,000 petition signatures in Nevada, the Secretary of State announced a change of position and now requires the naming of a vice presidential candidate on nominating petitions.

We are challenging, on equitable estoppel grounds, the right of the Secretary of State to reject any petition page circulated in reliance of the secretary’s instruction to circulate the nomination petition without the name of Kennedy’s vice presidential candidate recorded thereon. We also challenge, on equal protection grounds, the requirement for independent and third-party presidential candidates to name their vice presidential candidate as a condition precedent to being able to lawfully circulate nomination petitions in Nevada.  

Pennsylvania

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania established a 5,000 signature requirement for ballot access for Libertarian, Green, and Constitution Party presidential candidates as a remedy to litigation, which established the impact of a high signature requirement for ballot access coupled with Pennsylvania’s private challenge process for nomination papers imposed a severe burden on core political speech. Pennsylvania was given the option of a 5,000 signature requirement or an abandonment of the private challenge process to nomination papers. Pennsylvania chose to keep the private challenge process and accept the 5,000 signature total for ballot access.

While the Secretary of the Commonwealth has extended the 5,000 signature requirement for all independent and third-party presidential candidates, that decision is subject to challenge in state courts because the terms of the federal injunction is limited to the Libertarian, Green, and Constitutional party candidates. Accordingly, to stave off a state court challenge to the 5,000 signature requirement for ballot access for Kennedy, we have filed an action in federal court alleging the limited injunctive relief afforded to the Libertarian, Green, and Constitution parties violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as applied to Kennedy.

We also challenged the requirement for independent presidential candidates to name their slate of presidential electors before they may collect ballot access petitions on nomination papers when the Democratic and Republican party presidential nominees do not need to name their presidential electors until after their national nominating conventions. The Equal Protection Clause demands that independent and third-party presidential candidates be afforded the same amount of time to select their presidential electors as the GOP and Democratic parties.

New Jersey

In New Jersey, a Democrat filed a frivolous lawsuit alleging Kennedy violated the state’s sore loser laws by running as a Democrat before declaring his independent run. The lawsuit has no merit because Kennedy never filed as a Democratic candidate in New Jersey or any state. He announced his independent candidacy before submitting any state filings and has submitted all of them as an independent. 

The campaign’s aggressive ballot access operation has surpassed all its milestones to ensure the Kennedy-Shanahan ticket is on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The ballot access operation is fully funded with more than $15 million raised.

The Kennedy-Shanahan ticket is officially on the ballot in eight states — California, Delaware, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah

The campaign has submitted its signatures in 11 states — Alaska, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Illinois.

It has collected enough signatures for ballot access in six states — Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Nevada. 

The Kennedy-Shanahan campaign has collected the signatures needed for ballot access in 25 states, totaling 348 electoral votes, 65% of the 538 total electoral votes nationwide. 

On May 1, the Kennedy campaign released results from a Zogby poll showing Kennedy beats both Presidents Biden and Trump in head-to-head matchups. Trump defeats Biden handily. Kennedy beats President Trump in a two-way race, by a tight margin. In a two-way race between Kennedy and President Biden, Kennedy wins in a landslide. Kennedy is the first independent ever to defeat both major party candidates in head-to-head matchups.

Learn more at Kennedy24.com. Visit our press page here.

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