RFK Jr. sues Utah lieutenant governor over filing deadline for presidential candidates
Dec 6, 2023, 6:56 PM
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has filed a lawsuit against Utah’s top election officials, alleging the state’s Jan. 8 deadline to file for ballot access is too restrictive.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court against Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and Ryan Cowley, state director of elections, Kennedy’s campaign argues the early deadline to file signatures violates his First Amendment and 14th Amendment rights. The complaint asks the court for injunctive relief to halt the state from enforcing that deadline.
As an independent candidate, Kennedy would need to collect 1,000 signatures and file them with the state between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8, 2024. Those signatures would need to be validated by the county clerks.
“No state in the history of the United States has sought to impose such an early date to collect, validate and file ballot access petitions to secure ballot access for the general election to be held on the far-off date of Nov. 5, 2024,” the lawsuit states.
Kennedy — who held a rally in Salt Lake City on Thursday as part of an effort to collect signatures — called the deadline “on its face, a severe violation of rights … for which the state of Utah has no compelling nor legitimate interest to enforce.”