Illinois Election Board votes unanimously to keep Trump on primary ballot

 January 30, 2024

The push to remove former President Donald Trump from as many ballots as possible continued this week.

According to NBC News, the Illinois State Board of Elections voted Tuesday on whether or not to remove the former president from the March 19 primary ballot.

According to the outlet, the board unanimously -- and shockingly -- voted to keep Trump on the primary ballot.

The election board in Illinois is made up of a bipartisan committee, including four Democrats and four Republicans. They were tasked with deciding whether or not to remove the former president from the primary ballot based on an argument that he's not qualified due to the 14th Amendment.

As has happened in several other blue states, a group of Illinois voters petitioned the state to have Trump removed from the ballot.

NBC noted:

The petitioners said that Trump should be barred from Illinois' primary ballot for the March 19 election because they say he violated Section 3 of the 14th Amendment by engaging in insurrection in his effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Ultimately, the Illinois board decided that the issue is one for the courts and not local election officials. They cited the complexity of constitutional law involved in deciding such a matter.

Notably, general counsel for the board ruled that it does, in fact, have the authority to remove Trump from the primary ballot, but said that it should rule that Trump is eligible to remain on it.

While some argued that Trump was responsible for inciting an "insurrection" on Jan. 6, 2021, the former president's lawyer, Adam P. Merrill, argued otherwise.

"We urge the board to not weigh in on this," Merrill said. "The Colorado case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court and it really is under all of these circumstances it makes no sense for the board to weigh in and deprive Trump of and the voters of Illinois to the ballot access."

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the matter after the original attempt in Colorado, which will ultimately affect attempts in other states, according to legal experts.

Trump released a statement on the decision out of Illinois on his Truth Social account.

"Thank you to the Illinois State Board of Elections for ruling 8-0 in protecting the Citizens of our Country from the Radical Left Lunatics who are trying to destroy it. The VOTE was 8-0 in favor of keeping your favorite President (ME!), on the Ballot. I love Illinois. Make America Great Again!" Trump wrote.