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LaRose Announces Determinations Regarding Certification Of Independent Candidates For President Of The United States

COLUMBUS - Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose today announced that Mr. Richard Duncan and Mr. Rodney E. Garrett Jr. met the requirements necessary to appear together on the presidential ballot in Ohio for the November 3, 2020 General Election. At the request of Mr. Duncan, and as allowed under Ohio law, Mr. Howie Hawkins and Ms. Angela Walker will appear on the ballot together as independent candidates for president and vice president in place of Mr. Duncan and Mr. Garrett.

Additionally, Mr. Kanye West and Ms. Michelle Tidball failed to meet the requirements necessary to appear on the presidential ballot in Ohio for the November 3, 2020 General Election. Based on a review of the documents submitted by the West campaign, both the information and a signature on the original nominating petition and statement of candidacy submitted to the Secretary’s office do not match that of the nominating petition and statement of candidacy that was used to circulate part-petitions.

To appear on the ballot, independent candidates for president and vice president must file a valid and sufficient joint nominating petition and statement of candidacy that complies with the law and at least 5,000 valid signatures from Ohio voters and a slate of 18 presidential electors.

“A signature is the most basic form of authentication and an important, time-honored, security measure to ensure that a candidate aspires to be on the ballot and that a voter is being asked to sign a legitimate petition,” said LaRose. “There is no doubt that the West nominating petition and declaration of candidacy failed to meet the necessary threshold for certification.”    

The West campaign nominating petition and declaration of candidacy forms may be viewed by clicking here.

The process laid out in the Ohio Revised Code for certifying independent candidates for president in Ohio creates a very tight timeline for both campaigns and boards of elections. Candidates must file a valid and sufficient joint nominating petition and statement of candidacy by the 90th day before Election Day (August 5), and the county boards of elections must then verify the validity and sufficiency of the part-petitions and signatures by the 78th day before Election Day (August 17). Additionally, the deadline for an independent candidate to withdraw from the ballot and be replaced by another candidate is the 86th day before Election Day (August 10). The Secretary of State’s Office has just four days to conduct a thorough review of the filings and make a final determination whether the candidate met the requirements to be certified to the ballot before the deadline to protest the independent candidates’ certification by the 74th day before Election Day (August 21).

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