Presidential Candidates Can Stay On Illinois Ballot For Now

Feb 2, 2016

The Illinois State Board of Elections decided Monday in favor of three presidential candidates, but the decision could be appealed to a circuit court.

Board members dismissed an objection to the candidacy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat. The board also ruled that Republican U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz can stay on the state's ballot. They decided that Rubio was a natural-born citizen because he was born in Miami. Board members also said they don't have the authority to decide if Cruz, who was born in Canada to a mother who was a U.S. citizen, was a natural-born citizen.

Credit Amanda Vinicky

Two Illinois residents separately raised questions about the legality of Cruz and Rubio running for president. One of the objectors, William Graham of Glen Ellyn, said that while he believes the senators are U.S. citizens, he believes they are not natural-born citizens under the law.Rubio's parents were Cuban immigrants.

"I actually like Marco Rubio and I agree with many of his policies," Graham said. "I can't vote for him because he's an illegal candidate. But this isn't about Marco Rubio at all. This is about the Constitution."

Lawrence Joyce of Poplar Grove says he would give his case to another presidential candidate, like Donald Trump, if they wanted to appeal the board's decision.

"If Donald Trump wants to have a test case as to whether Ted Cruz is eligible, my case is the perfect case and I would be willing to assign control over the case to his legal team if he wants to fund it and go ahead with it, Joyce said."

Joyce said Monday afternoon that he hadn't heard anything from Trump's campaign. The objectors have about a week to file an appeal in circuit court in Sangamon County or Cook County.