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Tags: rfk jr. | 2024 election | presidential ballot | 50 states | challenges | independent

RFK Jr. Faces Challenges to Get on Ballot in 50 States

By    |   Wednesday, 13 March 2024 09:20 AM EDT

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his supporters are working to get on the 2024 general election ballot in all 50 states — a goal that poses many challenges.

Kennedy's campaign estimates about $15 million will be required to obtain the roughly 1 million signatures needed to appear on ballots in all states. A major part of that money would go to hiring signature gatherers to meet state-set deadlines, NPR reported Wednesday.

"You have got to pay for signature collectors," Michael Arno, who runs a petition signature gathering company and has worked on ballot access for various independent candidates and the No Labels effort, told NPR.

"And you may well have a great volunteer network, but you're going to have to have paid signature gatherers."

Amaryllis Kennedy, the campaign's director and the candidate's daughter in-law who told the outlet RFK Jr. "cannot win unless he is on the ballot," said "our hope is that we won't need as many paid petitioners as we had expected."

Instead, she said, the campaign is seeking to rely on its network of volunteers.

"We are building some really groundbreaking digital tools to harness hundreds of thousands of volunteers and supporters and encourage each of them to go out and collect 10 or 12 or 16 signatures," Amaryllis Kennedy said.

Legal fees also are a big expense for independent campaigns trying to get on the ballot. That's because third-party candidates often challenge state ballot access laws, and face lawsuits filed by the major political parties.

"Even going back 100 years, nobody who got on the ballot in all the states ever did it without suing, except only one," said Richard Winger, a ballot access expert who publishes the monthly Ballot Access News newsletter.

"In 1992, Ross Perot got himself on the ballot without a single lawsuit. But he's the only one."

Kennedy filed a suit against Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson over the state's deadline to gain ballot access, which was Jan. 8, 2024, Deseret News reported. After the suit was filed, Henderson announced that filings would be accepted through March 5, 2024.

RFK Jr. then formally announced in early January that he will appear on the ballot in Utah after formally filing with the state's elections office.

In Idaho, Kennedy's campaign won a lawsuit to push back an unconstitutional signature deadline.

The Kennedy campaign also reports to have enough signatures to appear on the presidential ballot in Hawaii, Nevada, and New Hampshire. American Values 2024, a super PAC supporting the candidate, has claimed to secure enough signatures for RFK Jr. to appear on the ballot in Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, and Michigan, Axios reported.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his supporters are working to get on the 2024 general election ballot in all 50 states - a goal that poses many challenges.
rfk jr., 2024 election, presidential ballot, 50 states, challenges, independent
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2024-20-13
Wednesday, 13 March 2024 09:20 AM
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