RFK Jr. Clears Obstacle to Enter His First 2024 Ballot in Utah

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s quest to get on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington is off to a good start. The Salt Lake County Clerk’s office confirmed that Mr. Kennedy has successfully met the signature requirement to appear on Utah’s 2024 general election presidential ballot.

He collected the necessary number of at least 1,000 verified signatures. Utah is the first state where Mr. Kennedy has submitted signatures. He plans to hold a press conference in Salt Lake City on Jan. 3 to formally announce his ballot status.

Mr. Kennedy had previously called Utah’s signature-gathering deadline for independent and third-party candidates “unconstitutional.” He filed a lawsuit against Utah officials on Dec. 4, challenging the state’s Jan. 8 deadline for independent presidential candidates to collect and verify 1,000 signatures from qualified voters.

According to the lawsuit, the current deadline is the earliest ever sought to be imposed on independent presidential candidates in the modern era. Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced on Dec. 7 that she would extend the deadline for independent presidential candidates to gain ballot access to March 5, 2024.

Mr. Kennedy’s lawsuit argued that ballot access laws for independent and third-party candidates are a form of voter suppression and urged state officials to streamline and standardize ballot access procedures.

The challenge of getting on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington is grueling, time-consuming, and expensive. Guidelines for securing a ballot spot differ widely among the states, as do deadlines. Mr. Kennedy must gather about 200,000 signatures in California, about 145,000 in Florida, and more than 110,000 in Texas, according to the rules in those states.

Legal challenges from Democrats and Republicans intent on keeping Mr. Kennedy off the ballot are possible. Some states have varying guidelines about the number of signees in different parts of their state.

Mr. Kennedy has expressed confidence that he will appear on the ballot in every state and the nation’s capital. He said that his campaign is supported by a “grassroots army” and he is aiming to get 60 percent more signatures than needed in every state to provide a cushion.

At voter rallies across the country, Mr. Kennedy highlights his independent campaign platform and encourages attendees to sign petitions to get him on the ballot. He acknowledges that some states make it very difficult and expects litigation to be involved.

American Values 2024, a super PAC supporting the election of Mr. Kennedy, said it will spend as much as $15 million to get Mr. Kennedy on the ballot in 10 states deemed important to winning the election. If Mr. Kennedy achieves his goal of appearing on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington, he could make the 2024 presidential general election more competitive.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll released on Dec. 20 shows that in a three-way race, President Joe Biden received 38 percent, former President Donald Trump received 36 percent, and Mr. Kennedy received 22 percent. Monmouth University also published a poll indicating that 1 in 5 voters would support Mr. Kennedy.

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