Illinois State Board of Elections Keeps Trump on Primary Ballot

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Illinois State Board of Elections voted unanimously to keep former President Donald Trump on the state’s Republican primary ballot despite previous findings that he engaged in insurrection under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. 

Earlier this month, five Illinois voters filed a petition with Illinois’ State Board of Elections seeking to remove Trump from the ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. The voters alleged that Trump’s nomination papers were invalid due to his action leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection. Last week, an appointed hearing officer heard oral argument from both parties on whether Trump should be removed from the ballot. 

After the hearing, the hearing officer, a former Republican judge, found “by a preponderance of the evidence that President Trump engaged in insurrection, within the meaning of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Despite this finding, the hearing officer recommended that the state board of elections dismiss the challenge since state law prohibits the board of elections “from addressing issues involving constitutional analysis.”

In today’s hearing, the state board of elections heard from both parties but ultimately decided not to wade into the constitutional debate on Trump’s eligibility under Section 3. Following the advice of their general counsel and the recommendations of the hearing officer, the board found that it lacked jurisdiction to make a determination in the matter. 

While Trump remains on the primary ballot in Illinois, he  faces 19 challenges to his eligibility across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in Trump’s appeal of his removal from the Colorado primary ballot  on Feb. 8, less than a month before the Colorado Republican primary, which is scheduled for March 5.

Read more about Section 3 of the 14th Amendment here.