North Carolina Blocks RFK Jr. and Cornel West from Ballot ‘A Boost for Biden?’

 North Carolina Blocks RFK Jr. and Cornel West from Ballot ‘A Boost for Biden?’

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The North Carolina Board of Elections has temporarily declined to approve Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West for the presidential ballot in November—a move that could potentially benefit President Joe Biden in this battleground state.

According to WRAL, “In a party-line vote, the North Carolina State Board of Elections rejected initial bids for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West, and Constitution Party candidate Randall Terry to place their names on the November ballot, saying they want more time to review their petitions. The board’s two Republican members voted to place the candidates on the ballot, while the board’s three Democratic members rejected those motions.”

The decision adds uncertainty to the November ballot in a state where presidential candidates have historically won by narrow margins. The report notes, “The decision—if it stands—could mean less competition for Trump and Biden in a state where presidential candidates have historically had small margins of victory.”

Democrats raised different issues with each petition, questioning whether Kennedy followed the proper procedure under state law, whether the West petition was compromised by Trump allies, and whether the Constitution Party should be denied access amid questions about its chairman’s stated address.

Over the past decade, Democrats have won some statewide elections in North Carolina; however, the state has backed Republicans in every presidential election for the last 40 years, except for Barack Obama’s victory in 2008.

West and Kennedy are running independent campaigns for president after bowing out of the Green and Democratic Party primaries, respectively. West is running a far-left campaign, while Kennedy, despite his prominent Democratic family name, is running on a mix of political beliefs, including some Trump-aligned conspiracy theories about vaccines and the January 6 attack. Polls vary on the impact of these candidates on the overall race, but some surveys suggest they could siphon votes from Biden.

Kennedy has been fighting to qualify for the ballot in states totaling 270 electoral votes, the minimum required to make debate stages. Earlier this month, CNN confirmed that Kennedy had not qualified for the presidential debate taking place this week; Kennedy disputes this and has filed complaints against CNN with the Federal Election Commission.

The North Carolina Board of Elections’ decision to delay the approval of these candidates’ petitions underscores the high stakes and potential shifts in voter dynamics as the 2024 presidential race heats up.

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