Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie will not appear on the ballot for Maine’s presidential primary, following a judge’s affirmation of an earlier decision. Despite efforts to overturn a ruling by the Maine Secretary of State, Christie’s appeal was rejected, solidifying his absence from the crucial ballot.
The former New Jersey Governor’s campaign faced a significant setback when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld the Secretary of State’s decision, stating that the candidate failed to meet the necessary requirements for ballot inclusion.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported that Christie will not be listed on the Maine primary election ballot due to his failure to secure the required number of in-state petition signatures.
To qualify for the ballot in Maine’s March 5, 2024, primary election, a candidate must gather 2,000 verified in-state signatures. However, state officials announced that Christie’s campaign fell short of this threshold.
“The deadline for presidential candidates to submit the necessary signatures for the March 5, 2024 Primary Election ballot was at 5 p.m. on [Dec. 1], according to Maine’s Secretary of States website.
According to a letter obtained by CBS News from Maine’s Director of Elections, Heidi M. Peckham, Christie’s campaign managed to submit only “844 names certified by municipal registrars.”
It’s mandatory for candidates to have their signatures certified by municipal clerks before presenting them to the Secretary of State’s office by the 5 p.m. Friday deadline.
After Christie’s legal team argued that the signature verification process was rushed and flawed, Kennebec County Superior Court Judge Julia Lipez sided with the Secretary of State.
Lipez reiterated that Christie bore the responsibility for ensuring that his petition met legal requirements and that he failed to provide sufficient evidence of any errors that would warrant overriding the decision.
“We appreciate that the court upheld the integrity of Maine’s well-established ballot access requirements,” Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said in a statement. “Every candidate, including presidential candidates, must follow the law to qualify for the ballot. We are glad that the court recognized that Maine law is workable and fair to all.”
Christie’s campaign, having said earlier that they collected over 6,000 signatures, called the Secretary of State’s decision a “procedural issue” but ultimately failed to convince the court to count the previously excluded signatures.
A campaign spokesperson conveyed disappointment with the court’s decision and mentioned that they are evaluating other options.
Despite this setback, Christie could still opt to run as a write-in candidate if he files with the Secretary of State’s office by December 26, though this has not yet been confirmed by Christie or his team.