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North Carolina’s Democrat-Run Elections Board Stonewalls Letting Kennedy, West On Ballot

If ultimately upheld, the NCSBE’s move to keep Kennedy and West off the Tar Heel State’s 2024 ballot would be a major win for Joe Biden.


On Wednesday, North Carolina’s Democrat-controlled elections board (NCSBE) temporarily denied third party presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West the ability to appear on the state’s November ballot.

In a 3-2 decision, the NCSBE postponed certifying efforts by the We The People party (Kennedy) and Justice for All Party of North Carolina (West) to acquire ballot access for this fall’s elections. The board’s three Democrat members voted against the motion to certify, while the two Republican members voted in favor.

Under North Carolina law, the state elections board is effectively controlled by the party of the governor, a position currently held by Democrat Roy Cooper. A law recently passed by the GOP-controlled General Assembly that sought to evenly split the board’s partisanship was struck down by a state court in March.

According to the Associated Press, North Carolina election officials confirmed to the board that We The People and Justice for All Party of North Carolina “had turned in more valid signatures than the 13,865 that were required” by law to gain ballot access for the November election. Certification of these signatures would have allowed the parties to subsequently nominate Kennedy and West as their respective presidential candidates.

In voting against the motion to certify, the board’s Democrat majority “agreed more examination was needed of the organization[s’] operations, including how signatures were collected, how party volunteers presented the petition’s goals to voters and what information was placed on petition lists.” Democrat member Siobhan O’Duffy Millen reportedly expressed concerns that We The People volunteers, as the AP described, “misrepresented Kennedy as an independent candidate, rather than someone who could be the party’s nominee.”

Running as an independent in the Tar Heel State would require Kennedy to gather “at least 83,188 qualifying signatures” to appear on the November ballot, according to the outlet.

The NCSBE Democrat majority’s decision to temporarily deny We The People ballot access appears to be based on allegations in a lawsuit previously filed by Clear Choice Action, a pro-Biden super PAC. According to CBS News, the PAC claimed We The People violated state election laws by “misleading signers into believing they were directly petitioning to place Kennedy on the ballot instead of creating a new political party that can subsequently hold a nominating convention.”

The NCSBE is expected to reconsider Kennedy and West’s parties’ requests for 2024 ballot access on July 9.

As noted by Federalist Editor-in-Chief Mollie Hemingway in her bestselling book, Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections, the Democrat-controlled NCSBE took legally suspect actions that provided Democrats an edge in the 2020 election. The board, along with North Carolina Democrat Attorney General Josh Stein — who is now running for governor — struck a deal with a group represented by Russia collusion hoaxer Marc Elias to unliterally change the state’s election laws on mail-in balloting without the approval of the General Assembly.

According to the AP, the settlement allowed mail-in ballots to be received and counted in the Tar Heel State up to nine days after Election Day. The change was ultimately allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining the court’s three Democrat appointees in permitting the deal to remain in place.

Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not rule on the case due to having just joined the court and a lack of time “to fully review the parties’ filings,” according to a court spokeswoman.

Democrat Election Interference

If ultimately upheld, the NCSBE’s move to keep Kennedy and West off the Tar Heel State’s 2024 ballot would be a major win for President Joe Biden.

Throughout the past year, Democrats have sought to deny ballot access to third-party presidential candidates over fears their candidacies could derail Biden’s reelection prospects. In addition to North Carolina, the Democratic National Committee and Biden-aligned entities have filed complaints and lawsuits in various states throughout the country challenging Kennedy and other third-party candidates’ ability to appear on the November ballot.

The New York Times first reported on Biden and Democrats’ efforts against Kennedy and other third-party candidates in October. The outlet noted how “[p]owerful allies of President Biden are aggressively working to stop third-party and independent presidential candidacies,” who they fear “could cost Democrats an election that many believe will again come down to a few percentage points in key battleground states.”

As I previously wrote in these pages, Democrats have successfully deployed this undemocratic strategy to keep the left-leaning Green Party off the ballot in prior elections.

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