Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang will begin a write-in campaign for Ohio’s Democratic primary after a procedural error caused him not to qualify for the state’s ballot.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Saturday that Yang failed to follow Ohio law as the reason the entrepreneur did not make it on the ballot for the Buckeye state’s March 17 primary.
“As Secretary of State, I’m duty-bound to follow the law, and the law is clear- when Ohioans sign a petition they deserve to know what they’re signing,” he said.
By failing to follow Ohio law, Mr. Yang’s campaign has let down the Ohioans who wanted to support him. That’s truly unfortunate, but my oath requires me to uniformly carry out the law, and that’s what I’ll do. pic.twitter.com/qfgFQa1gkZ
— Frank LaRose (@FrankLaRose) January 4, 2020
In a statement, Yang told The Hill that this ruling was a “set back” to his campaign.
“My campaign submitted nearly three times the amount of signatures needed, virtually ensuring I would be on the ballot in Ohio,” he said. “Nevertheless, because of a bureaucratic paperwork issue caused by an awkwardly-worded law, nearly 3,000 Ohioans’ First Amendment rights have been denied.”
The Ohio law Yang did not follow requires campaigns gather signatures on a part-petition, which is a document that has three parts: “who the part-petition is for, the signatures, and a circulator statement from the person who gathered the signatures,” according to Ohio’s Secretary of State.
LaRose said Yang failed to submit a statement stating his intention to run.
“I sincerely sympathize with those who hoped to support his candidacy in the Ohio presidential primary – it’s truly unfortunate that the Yang campaign has let them down,” he said.
Yang told CNN that as a non-politician it was “unfathomable” that this could happen to him.
“We’re not going to let democracy be thwarted and we are thrilled that we’ve made every other ballot with ease,” the entrepreneur said.
Nationally, Yang is in sixth place for the Democratic presidential primary, according to RealClearPolitics average polls.
Yang has not met the qualifications yet to appear at Friday’s Democratic presidential debate, according to Politico.
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