Trump will appear on NY’s GOP primary ballot after ruling by Republican officials

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By Dan Sears

Former President Donald Trump will appear on the Republican presidential primary ballot in New York on April 2, state election officials said at a meeting to set the upcoming ballot on Tuesday.

The move from the state Board of Elections comes after several state Democratic lawmakers sent the board a letter in December urging election officials to ban Trump from the ballot for his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. A majority of New York City councilmembers sent a similar request last month.

The state lawmakers claim Trump violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bars someone who has “engaged in insurrection” from holding office.

Republican state election officials said removing Trump from the ballot was beyond their authority, since no formal objections had been filed detailing “the specific deficiency” in Trump’s request for ballot access.

Board of Elections staff noted that only the board’s Republican commissioners could determine if candidates who requested ballot access met the criteria of being “nationally known” and having a candidacy that is seriously recognized.

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“These rules are in place to provide due process to all candidates so that they have an opportunity to answer any objections made to their candidacy and to ensure that all candidates and objectors and object doors are held to the same standard,” said Peter Kosinski, the Board of Elections’ Republican co-chair. “We cannot act unless the standards are met. That would be a violation of the election law.”

No Democratic commissioners participated in the vote.

Under state law, Republican and Democratic commissioners set the primary ballots for their respective parties.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, who represents Manhattan’s West Side, said he still plans to file a general objection with the state Board of Elections over Trump’s candidacy and appearance on the ballot. Hoylman-Sigal said he may move ahead with a court filing as needed.

“Donald Trump is an insurrectionist and ineligible for the presidency because of his actions on Jan. 6,” he said. “If the 14th Amendment can’t be used for this purpose, what can it be [used for]? We know this is unprecedented, but some actions on that fateful day were also unprecedented.”

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The board hearing comes two days before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments over whether Colorado has the authority to exclude Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, from its ballot. Trump’s team seeks a Supreme Court ruling that would make clear that he can appear on the ballot in any state.

In December, Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled that Trump was ineligible for the presidency in a split 4-3 decision and removed him from the primary ballot, citing the same constitutional clause as New York lawmakers.

Unless a court decides otherwise, Trump is set to appear on New York’s ballot alongside former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and two candidates who have suspended their campaigns: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and pharmaceutical billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy.

The state’s Democratic primary ballot will include President Joe Biden, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and author Marianne Williamson, who also ran in 2020.

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