The Salt Lake County clerk’s office confirmed to CBS News on Thursday that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has met the signature requirement to qualify for Utah’s 2024 general election presidential ballot. This pushes the independent candidate one step closer to getting on the ballot in that state.
Salt Lake County’s voter services manager, Ron Buckley, confirmed on Thursday that Kennedy’s presidential effort has met the 1,000-signature threshold needed. However, the exact number of signatures submitted was not provided. Once Kennedy officially files, Utah would mark the first state’s ballot for which he has qualified.
— Daily Wire News (@DailyWireNews) December 30, 2023
If Kennedy manages to secure a place on the ballots of multiple states across the country, his candidacy could shake up the closely watched 2024 presidential campaign.
Kennedy seeks to offer an alternative to voters who might be unenthusiastic about President Biden or the eventual Republican nominee.
According to a recent Quinnipiac nationwide poll, in a three-way race involving Kennedy, Biden and former President Donald Trump, Biden garners 38% support, Trump receives 36% and Kennedy obtains 22%.
According to Utah state law, Kennedy must pay a $500 fee and fill out the official paperwork to declare himself an unaffiliated presidential candidate. He needs to complete this paperwork between Jan. 2 and March 5, which aligns with Super Tuesday, the day of Utah’s primary elections. Kennedy will not be participating due to his unaffiliated status.
Kennedy’s campaign press secretary, Stefanie Spear, said in a statement, “We’ll reveal our Utah ballot access status on Jan. 3 at a press event in Salt Lake City.”
Kennedy and a supportive super PAC are concentrating extensively on securing ballot access. Ed Rollins, the campaign manager for the 1992 independent candidate Ross Perot, shared with CBS News that obtaining ballot access was the most challenging aspect of Perot’s bid.
Earlier this month, Kennedy’s super PAC, American Values 2024, revealed intentions to invest $10 to $15 million for his ballot access in ten states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York and Texas.
Kennedy personally filed a lawsuit challenging Utah’s ballot access deadline, deeming it “unconstitutionally” restrictive. In response, the state, earlier this month, pushed the deadline from Jan. 8 to March 5, granting independent candidates more time to meet the threshold.
The requirements for ballot access for candidates not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties vary widely from state to state, with Utah and North Carolina having the earliest deadlines in early March.
Kennedy confidently states that he will secure a spot on the ballot in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C. He also asserts his preparedness to take legal action, if required, to ensure ballot access in other states.