Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Tries Creating Own Party to Get on Ballot in 6 States


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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running for president as an independent, announced on Tuesday that he had filed paperwork to create his own political party in six states — an effort to get his name on the ballot with fewer voter signatures than would be required for an unaffiliated candidate.

Mr. Kennedy, an environmental lawyer turned anti-vaccine activist who has promoted conspiracy theories and right-wing misinformation, is seeking to form a “We the People” party in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Mississippi and North Carolina as well as a “Texas Independent Party.”

Election offices in North Carolina and Hawaii confirmed that they had received the campaign’s applications for a new party. Most of the other states did not immediately respond to inquiries. A spokeswoman for Mississippi’s secretary of state said Mr. Kennedy’s team had contacted the office, but a filing could not be immediately confirmed because of a weather-related disruption.

Mr. Kennedy’s campaign said that forming parties in those six states would reduce the number of signatures he needed to get on the ballot in all 50 states by 330,000 — about a third of the previous total.

In at least two of the states, however, he will need to persuade a minimum number of voters to register with the party in order to get ballot access: roughly 75,000 in California and roughly 770 in Delaware.

Two other states, North Carolina and Hawaii, require registered voters’ signatures to complete the formation of the party: at least 13,865 in North Carolina and at least 862 in Hawaii.

And in Texas, Mr. Kennedy will need about 81,000 people to participate in precinct conventions in order for his party to get a line on the general-election ballot.

So far, Mr. Kennedy has a confirmed spot on the ballot in only one state. Utah granted him access this month after he collected the 1,000 signatures required there.

In addition to his campaign’s efforts, a super PAC supporting Mr. Kennedy said in December that it planned to spend more than $10 million to secure ballot access in 10 states, including two that now appear to be covered by the party formation filings: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York and Texas.

Mr. Kennedy initially challenged President Biden for the Democratic nomination, but left the primary in October to run as an independent. A New York Times/Siena College poll conducted late last year found nearly 25 percent of voters considering him, although many of those respondents also indicated they were likely to support one of the front-runners. Nonetheless, it reflects deep discontent with a rematch between Mr. Biden and former President Donald J. Trump.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Tries Creating Own Party to Get on Ballot in 6 States

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