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Despite US Supreme Court appeal, Trump certified as candidate on Colorado GOP ballot

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Former President Donald Trump is among the list of candidates certified by Colorado’s secretary of state on Friday to be on the state’s Republican primary ballot.

That, despite the U.S. Supreme Court saying Friday it will consider an appeal by Trump’s legal team of a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that declared him disqualified under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Friday Jan. 5 was the deadline for Secretary Jena Griswold to certify candidates to each political party’s presidential primary ballots, which gives county clerks the go-ahead to print their ballots.

Those clerks can begin mailing the ballots to military and overseas voters on Jan. 20, ahead of the state’s March 5 primary election.

Trump’s certification comes amid a Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling on Dec. 19 that held him ineligible to compete in the GOP primary because, the court found, he “engaged in insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021.

The former president is able to remain on the certification list, however, because Colorado’s high court placed a stay on its decision, pending an appeal filed by Jan. 4, which the Trump team did.

The Colorado GOP appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 27 and Trump’s attorneys appealed on Jan. 3, which effectively placed him back on the GOP candidate list.

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling, Trump would remain on the list.

The nation’s high court on Friday said it would consider the appeal of Trump’s disqualification from the Colorado GOP primary ballot, setting oral arguments for Thursday, Feb. 8.

Ballots cannot be changed once they are printed, Griswold said, but Colorado does have procedures in place for candidates on the ballot who then drop out or become disqualified.

The secretary has “broad rulemaking authority,” according to Colorado code, so as to “avoid voter confusion.”

Griswold said she would not count the votes cast for Trump if he is ruled off the ballot after ballots are sent out and votes are cast for him.

“Once the ballots are printed, it’s done that the ballots are what they are,” Griswold said.

Colorado would embark on enacting that procedure once they have guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court — either a decision not to review the case or a ruling on the side of the Colorado Supreme Court.

Isabella Murray, “Despite US Supreme Court Appeal, Trump Certified as Candidate on Colorado GOP Ballot,” ABC News (ABC News, January 6, 2024), https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/despite-us-supreme-court-appeal-trump-certified-candidate/story?id=106138501.

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