Illinois Board of Elections Declares Ted Cruz ‘Natural Born Citizen,’ Eligible to Run

Ted Cruz
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Springfield, IL

The Illinois Board of Elections has nixed an attempt to get Texas Senator Ted Cruz thrown off the ballot over questions about his status as a natural born citizen.

Illinois lawyer Lawrence Joyce brought a challenge to the election board to get Cruz thrown off the ballot claiming he doesn’t qualify to run under the U.S. Constitution’s “natural born citizen” requirement to run for president. But according to its determination the Board rejected the claim.

Illinois election law requires candidates to file a “statement of candidacy” in order to make the ballot. The statement includes a section assuring the election board that the candidate is “qualified” for office. In the case of Cruz, that “qualification” would be that he is a natural born citizen. The Electoral Board is tasked with assuring filings are “valid.”

The Cruz campaign argued that the board really didn’t have the power to determine whether he is a citizen or not. Only the Electoral College or the Supreme Court of the United States can take up the question, Cruz said. But the board took up the question anyway claiming that its “statement of candidacy” gave it the power to determine if a candidate has properly fulfilled Illinois law to get on the ballot.

“It is alleged that Ted Cruz is not legally qualified because he is not a natural born citizen. Thus, the Statement of Candidacy is properly before the Electoral Board to determine if the Candidate is a natural born citizen,” the board ruled.

Ultimately, Cruz had little to worry about because the board ruled that there was no reason to doubt that Cruz is a citizen and threw out all the challenges by the lawyer.

In its determination, the board said it “found that the candidate is a ‘natural born citizen’ by virtue of having been born in Canada to a United States citizen, thereby not causing the candidate to have to take any steps or undergo a naturalization process to become a United States citizen.”

This isn’t the first time that Lawrence Joyce has questioned a candidate’s citizenship. As Ulysses Arn notes, Joyce also brought several suits against President Obama saying he isn’t a natural born citizen. Each one of his suits were dismissed as meritless.

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