The decision was made by Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate and two Democrats. The panel dismissed questions of whether 19 of the signatures on West’s petitions were valid because West had more than enough signatures to qualify even if those signatures were not counted. The group dismissed a second complaint asserting West was required to disclose he’s a registered Republican on his nominating petitions.
“I think he did follow the…candidate guidelines that our office put out and the way the law exists now for someone who is being nominated as a ‘no party’ (candidate),” Secretary of State Paul Pate said.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, is a long-time member of the State Objection Panel.
“The panel very much tries to err on side of allowing people to be on the ballot the for important policy and constitutional reasons,” Miller said, “that we want people to be able to run and we want people to be able to choose from a large group.”
State Auditor Rob Sand is the other Democrat on the panel.
“I can appreciate the nature of the objection both in the legal sense and also in the ethical sense,” Sand said, “but…I think our job here, our legal standard, is to on questions to resolve them in favor of ballot access.”
One of Pate’s former employees in the secretary of state’s office led the 11th hour effort to collect petition signatures to get West’s name on the Iowa ballot. Critics charge Republicans are helping West in Iowa and other states to benefit President Trump and siphon votes away from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.