Have you ever wondered how ineligible candidates are removed from the ballot?
Do you imagine government officials sifting through records and researching each candidate to ensure they meet the qualifications before putting them on the ballot? If so, you’d be wrong.
Indiana has strict requirements to run for and hold office, but policing that eligibility is generally left up to individuals and their political parties.
For better or worse, Indiana lawmakers have left it up to each major political party to police and challenge ineligible candidates of the other party. However, when it comes to independent and minor party candidates, our lawmakers have created a different set of rules.
If Todd Young was running as an independent or minor party candidate, Secretary Lawson would determine if he filed the requisite number of signatures from each congressional district. Ind. Code 3-8-6-12(d).
However, since Young is seeking to represent one of Indiana’s two major political parties, Secretary Lawson does not play a role in determining whether a candidate has met the signature requirements.
In the case of major party candidates, the rules involve a challenge-based procedure, whereby the candidate’s opponents, members of the public or representatives of the opposite political party must challenge the candidate and the Indiana Election Commission (or local election board in the case of local candidates) conducts a hearing and rules on the candidate’s eligibility. Ind. Code 3-8-1-2(a)(1) and 3-8-2-14.
The Indiana Election Commission will hear evidence today in the challenge against Todd Young. The Commission is comprised of 4 members whereby 2 members are from each major political party. It will take a vote of 3 to sustain the challenge and remove Todd Young from the ballot.
You can stream the hearing live beginning at 1:30 pm today, which will consist of challenges against 10 candidates, including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.