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 January 31, 2024

Trump to remain on Illinois ballot dealing massive blow to Democrats

The Illinois State Board of Elections, in a unanimous vote, affirmed on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump will be retained on the state's primary ballot, securing a significant triumph for Trump within a traditionally Democratic stronghold.

The eight-member board, composed of both Republicans and Democrats, reached the decision, ensuring Trump's participation in the primary scheduled for March 19.

The decision

This decision followed a petition filed by a group of voters represented by the nonprofit Free Speech For People, seeking to prevent Trump's inclusion on the ballot by invoking the 14th Amendment's "insurrection" clause.

The group contended that Trump, having taken an oath to support the Constitution, should face disqualification under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment if found to have engaged in insurrection.

Expressing his gratitude for the ruling, Trump took to Truth Social, thanking the Illinois State Board of Elections and noting the 8-0 vote in favor of maintaining his presence on the ballot.

The dismissal

The hearing officer, Clark Erickson, recommended dismissing the motion to bar Trump from the ballot, emphasizing the necessity for significant constitutional analysis.

Erickson suggested that if the board chose not to follow his recommendation, Trump's name should be removed from the primary ballot.

Marni Malowitz, the general counsel for the Illinois State Board of Elections, cautioned against removing Trump's name, citing legal complexities related to the 14th Amendment challenge and its applicability to the office of the president.

Controversy continues

While all board members voted in favor of retaining Trump on the ballot, one member clarified her belief that Trump was involved in an insurrection but stated that it was not her role to make such a determination during the current proceedings.

Recent rulings in Maine and Colorado aimed to exclude Trump from their respective primary ballots, invoking the 14th Amendment's Section 3.

The Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments in those cases, potentially influencing whether Trump's name will appear on primary ballots nationwide.

Trump's celebration of the decision underscored the importance of the vote and his continued engagement in the political arena. As the 2024 election landscape unfolds, these legal battles over ballot eligibility remain a focal point, shaping the narrative of Trump's political future within the Republican Party.

The Illinois ruling not only ensures Trump's participation in the state's primary but also adds another chapter to the broader debate on the interpretation and application of constitutional provisions in the context of electoral politics.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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