Thurston County Judge Denies Petition To Exclude Trump From Washington’s Presidential Ballot

Aiexpress – A Thurston County judge has made a ruling on Thursday, stating that Former President Donald Trump will still be included on Washington state’s presidential primary ballot.

In Thurston County Superior Court, Judge Mary Sue Wilson has ruled that Secretary of State Steve Hobbs did not make any clear errors when including Trump on the March 12 ballot.

“The court has determined that the Secretary of State fulfilled his duties,” Wilson stated. “The statutes do not support the issuance of an order from this court directing the Secretary of State to take different action, as the affidavit of the electors also does not provide any support for such an order.”

According to Wilson, the court has the authority to rule on the case. However, state law does not provide for fact-finding or a complete evidentiary hearing in this matter. Wilson also noted that she is obligated to make a decision on the challenge within five days of its filing.

The ruling only impacts the presidential primary. Wilson refused to entertain a petition to exclude Trump from the general election ballot, stating that it would be premature to do so.


In her ruling, Wilson made it clear that she was dismissing the case without prejudice and acknowledged the potential for petitioners to try again, possibly during the general election, “when the timing is more appropriate.”

A group of eight Kitsap County voters filed an affidavit on January 10 to challenge Trump’s eligibility. This hearing took place in response to a series of similar challenges in other states and amidst the former president’s increasing legal troubles.

According to their affidavit, the group has accused Trump and his supporters of engaging in insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, with the intent to overthrow President Joe Biden’s election. They further allege that Trump aided and abetted those involved in the violence through his words and financial support.

According to the affidavit, his behavior makes him ineligible to appear on the Washington state primary ballot or the general election ballot as it violates Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which disqualifies individuals from holding public office.

According to the 14th Amendment, individuals who have served as an “officer of the U.S.” are prohibited from holding any office if they have been involved in insurrection or rebellion.

In Washington state, voters have the option to file an affidavit to contest an individual’s eligibility to appear on the ballot. This affidavit must be resolved by the court within five days of its submission, as stated in RCW 29A.68.011.

In various parts of the country, Trump has encountered similar challenges regarding his eligibility for the ballot. One significant instance was when the Colorado Supreme Court determined that Trump’s involvement in insurrection rendered him ineligible to appear on the state’s ballot.

The resolution of these challenges will probably be handled by the U.S. Supreme Court, as they have already agreed to review the Colorado case.

Wilson stated that she carefully considered the Colorado case as part of her decision-making process. However, it is important to note that the situation in Colorado was governed by different laws, which involved a lengthier process and the inclusion of a trial.

What Arguments Were Made In Court?

Attorney David Vogel, representing the voter group, has requested the court to compel the Washington Secretary of State to remove Trump from the ballot. Vogel argues that Trump’s constitutional eligibility is in question and that state law provides for his removal.

According to Vogel, the court has the authority to create a solution and take appropriate actions in order to uphold justice.

According to Vogel, the court should consider the 14th amendment as “self-executing” and take into account the Colorado case along with Congressional hearings that investigated the events of January 6, 2021.

“The Washington statutes may not be exactly the same as the Colorado statutes, but they should be interpreted according to their clear and straightforward meaning,” Vogel stated. “Including a person on our state ballots who is constitutionally disqualified by the 14th Amendment is considered a wrongful act.”

According to Joel Ard, an attorney representing the Washington State Republican Party, he believes that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that neither the Republican Party nor Trump were served with a complaint.

According to Ard, it is important for the state Republican Party to have control over the primary process. He emphasized that their main objective is to ensure that the votes of individuals who identify as Republicans are accurately counted.

Ard contended that RCW 29A.68.011 did not pertain to a presidential primary. According to him, the responsibility of determining the candidates who appear on the primary ballots lies with the political parties, and the Washington Secretary of State’s role in this process is merely administrative.

The voting group also filed it in Kitsap County. In spite of this, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Bassett refused to look into the case on Tuesday, according to the Seattle Times.

Even though the petitioners live in Kitsap County, Bassett is said to have said that the case should be handled in Thurston County, which is home to the state capital.

How Did Attendees React?

Vogel said only that he was “disappointed” with the result of the hearing.

A Thurston County auditor named Mary Hall, who was at the meeting, told McClatchy that she wasn’t shocked by the decision because “state law is very clear.”

“The Presidential Primary is a political party function,” Hall said.

Some people at the meeting were very happy with Wilson’s choice.

A person at the event who only wanted to be called Mimi and wore a red “Make America Great Again” hat told McClatchy that she thinks the decision is “a win for America.”

“This is the kind of thing that third-world countries do—they disappear the opponent,” she stated. “Whether it’s physically removing them or taking them off a ballot,”

Mimi also said she thought the vote to take Trump off the ballot was “pointless” and “a waste of taxpayer money.”

The Trump campaign reacts to the decision.

On Thursday, after the Thurston County ruling, former President Trump’s campaign said in a news statement that the judge made the right choice.

The campaign said in a statement that they will “remain steadfast” in their opposition to the court challenges that “Democrat Party allies” have brought against President Joe Biden.

“We believe that a fair ruling on the issues in front of the Supreme Court of the United States will ultimately put all of these unconstitutional misinterpretations of the 14th Amendment to rest, preserving American voting rights,” the press release stated.

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