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HomePoliticsNational PoliticsChris Christie may not appear on ballot in Maine

Chris Christie may not appear on ballot in Maine

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces the risk of exclusion from Maine’s primary ballot as he fell short of the required 2,000 signatures from Maine voters to qualify for the state’s Republican presidential primary, according to state officials on Friday. A letter from Maine’s Director of Elections, Heidi M. Peckham, revealed that Christie’s campaign submitted only “844 names certified by municipal registrars.” Candidates were mandated to file signatures with municipal clerks for certification before the submission deadline to the Secretary of State’s office.

Christie has a five-day window to contest the decision in Maine Superior Court. A spokesperson for Christie’s campaign asserted that they had collected and submitted over 6,000 signatures, characterizing the issue as a procedural matter in the signature review process, currently under appeal.

As it stands, the GOP primary ballot in Maine will feature candidates such as former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, and pastor Ryan Binkley. On the Democratic side, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and President Biden will be on their party’s primary ballot.

The primaries are scheduled for March 5, 2024, also known as Super Tuesday, marking the day with the highest number of state primaries or caucuses during the election season. This will be Maine’s inaugural presidential primary election under the new semi-open primary law, enabling registered unenrolled voters (those with no party affiliation) to participate in any party’s primary.

Maine’s unique primary process stipulates that voters enrolled in a specific party who wish to participate in another party’s primary must change their party affiliation 15 days prior to casting a ballot. Unenrolled voters constitute a significant portion of Maine’s registered voters, comprising over 28% in 2022.

Christie, focusing his campaign strategy on winning in New Hampshire, where there is a substantial independent voting bloc, seeks to appeal to independents in the state’s primary. Despite his low favorability ratings among Republicans, Christie’s campaign aims to position him as a viable alternative to Trump, particularly in states where independents can participate in primaries. However, the setback in Maine may complicate this strategy even if Christie performs well in other states.

By: Montana Newsroom staff

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