The speaker of North Carolina’s House of Representatives and the chairman of the House’s election committee plan to look into ways to ensure Donald Trump remains on North Carolina’s election ballot in 2024.
Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, and Rep. Grey Mills, R-Iredell, released a joint statement Wednesday.
“In light of recent efforts by activists both here in North Carolina and other [states], we believe it is necessary for us to explore legislative action to ensure the Democratic majority on the NC State Board of Elections does not have unchecked authority to remove a major political party’s nominee from the ballot. North Carolina will be a critical state in the upcoming presidential election, and removing a leading candidate in this race like President Trump would be an affront to democracy.”
Moore and Mills are both running for Congress in 2024. Moore is seeking to represent a redrawn 14th District, a seat now held by Democrat Jeff Jackson. Jackson declined to seek re-election in a more Republican-leaning district. Jackson is running instead for state attorney general.
Meanwhile, Mills dropped plans to run for re-election to the state House when US Rep. Patrick McHenry decided not to seek re-election after 20 years in Washington. Mills is running to succeed McHenry in North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District.
The two legislators issued their statement after Colorado’s decision to remove Trump from its ballot. The NC elections board also considered the issue this week but voted it down, 4-1. Democratic board member Siobhan Miller cast the lone “no” vote.
While the elections board “delayed consideration of the matter,” “Democrats may bring the matter up again before the general election,” according to a news release tied to the joint statement.
Brian Martin, an attorney and businessman from Sandy Ridge in Stokes County filed a complaint Monday stating that Trump was not qualified to run as a candidate because he engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, after having previously taken an oath to support the Constitution as an officer of the United States, thereby violating Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.
Martin’s 27-page complaint also offered the NCSBE a suggestion: to read, if they chose, an article by two conservative law professors from the University of Pennsylvania, who are “active members of The Federalist Society, a group advocating ‘originalism’ — the method of interpreting The Constitution by its plain meaning at the time it was drafted and ratified.”
Paul Cox, the elections board’s counsel, said that North Carolina’s law was too vague on the subject, and the board doesn’t have the proper authority to decide who to keep off the ballot at this point.
Moore responded to the complaint on Tuesday.
“The complaint filed with the NCSBE against President Trump has entirely no merit and has one aim — to deny North Carolina voters their Constitutional right to decide for themselves who our next president will be,” Moore said. “Rather than let the voters decide, some activists would prefer to effectively silence the former President. I wholeheartedly condemn this malicious attempt to interfere with our elections here in North Carolina.”