Sec. Adrian Fontes explains why Donald Trump remains eligible for Arizona ballot

Dec 29, 2023, 3:15 PM

PHOENIX — There’s no current legal reason for Arizona to keep Donald Trump off its ballot in 2024, the state’s top elections officer said.

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes discussed the issue with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday, a day after Maine’s Democratic secretary of state ruled that Trump was ineligible for her state’s presidential primary ballot under the insurrection clause of U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

The Colorado Supreme Court previously ruled that Trump was ineligible for that state’s presidential primary ballot for the same reason.

Why is Donald Trump eligible for Arizona ballot?

Fontes, a Democrat, explained that the 10th Amendment gives powers that aren’t constitutionally reserved for the federal government to the individual states, including how they run elections. Therefore, he said, ballot decisions in other states don’t affect Arizona.

“Whether or not I agree with Maine is irrelevant,” he said. “What I agree with is the notion that the law is what the law is. The 10th Amendment, states rights, reserves this to the states. In Arizona, my job was to look to the application, and he met the requirements, and so off you go.”

Trump meets the presidential ballot standard in Arizona because he qualified in at least two other states, Fontes said.

“Arizona state law obliges me in my official capacity to certify a person who is qualified into other states,” he said. “So, it’s not even like I had a choice.”

Fontes said a court intervention could change the situation, but there aren’t any state-level cases pending.

“As it stands today in Arizona, Donald Trump is on the ballot,” he said.

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Sec. Adrian Fontes explains why Donald Trump remains eligible for Arizona ballot