Should Trump Be Allowed on Ballots?

Youth Sound Off

Just like Colorado, Illinois wants Trump off the presidential election ballot, but it is unlikely it will happen.

You’ve likely heard that you might not see Trump’s name on the voting ballot soon. An Illinois judge has called to remove former president Donald Trump from the state’s ballot based on the 14th Amendment’s “Insurrectionist Ban”. But is this really going to happen? And should it?

This ban says that anyone who took an oath to uphold the Constitution, like the president, but then supported or enacted an insurrection or rebellion would no longer be able to hold future public office. Due to Trump’s likely involvement and support of the January 6th attack on the Capitol, this ban is being used to claim he should be disqualified from running for presidency again.

However… It’s looking unlikely that anything will come of this.

It’s been a bit of a hot potato on who can decide. Last month, this issue was brought to the Illinois State Board of Elections, but they voted against it, ultimately deciding that it was not their place to decide on if Trump should be on the ballot or not. They allowed for state courts to appeal, saying they should decide, which we are now seeing.

But, that’s not the case for other states going through similar cases, like Colorado. Colorado decided that their state courts don’t have the right to decide to remove Trump from the ballot either. So, it’s gone a third level to Congress and the Supreme Court.

However, just recently, Congress shot down the ban for Colorado, and decided Trump should remain on the ballots.

“We conclude that states may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office,” the court’s opinion says. “But states have no power under the Constitution to enforce Sections 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the presidency.” Essentially, states don’t have the right to have a say of who can be voted for as president.

Some people, such as Trump’s attorney Nicholas Nelson, have claimed that the January 6th attack was a “political riot,” not a planned insurrection, so the ban should not apply. Ultimately, the ban is vague in its wording, and it hasn’t been used in more than a century. This is a lot of the basis for the Supreme Court’s decision: the ban is too unclear to be used properly.

There’s also fear that allowing individual states to have him on the ballot, while other states don’t, will be a disastrous “chaotic state-by-state patchwork, at odds with our Nation’s federalism principles,” wrote Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson.

“If the court was to allow Colorado to proceed in this way, what’s to stop some rogue prosecutor in another state from saying that a candidate from a different party is not a viable candidate because they engaged in insurrection?” Legal scholar Ray Brescia commented.

Before it made it to the Supreme Court, Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter used Colorado’s case as a basis to remove Trump from the Illinois ballot. However, Trump has appealed this decision, and it’s unsure if Porter’s decision will stick in time for the General Primary Election on March 19th. Because the Supreme Court unanimously voted for Trump to stay on the ballot in Colorado, it’s looking like Illinois will face the same fate.

Was this a good decision? What do our young new voters think, now that a new Gen Z demographic will be at the presidential polls this year?

After a long investigation in 2022, The House’s January 6th committee released an 814-page report on the events and concluded that Trump was a source of the insurrection. This event, and his involvement, threatened democracy and “put the lives of American lawmakers at risk,” the report concluded.

With this in mind, many young voters think Trump should be removed from the ballot. One Chicago-born student now at Hunter College, Maggie Davis, agrees. She said it shouldn’t matter how voters will respond— if Trump was responsible for the insurrection, he should be removed based on that law.

“The government isn’t supposed to pick and choose what laws to enforce based on what voters would think,” Davis said, “If the prosecutor thinks Trump committed a crime, then they have a duty to prosecute him for it.”

However, some student voters are worried about the possible ramifications this removal might have, and think that voter response does in fact matter.

Jonathan Padilla, a student at DePaul University, is worried how this will be taken by Trump’s supporters. He said, “Personally I believe a radical attack against the former president will do everyone no benefit considering his cult-like following.”

Referring to the January 6th attack, he added, “Donald Trump’s followers are a hostile force when threatened.” He’s worried that this removal might lead to similar events as January 6th because of backlash.

Instead, Padilla proposed that we focus our values on other candidates and voting for them. “Instead of crippling their enemy, the Democratic Party should nominate better representatives that can beat Trump through legitimate means. Fire can’t beat fire.”

It’s definitely an uncertainty of what will happen with this removal, or if it will even be set in place. For now, the best thing young voters can do is show up to the polls on voting day, and vote for someone you can trust to represent this country.


By Caileigh Winslade, Freshman, DePaul University

Instagram @fairytwist / Twitter @fairytwist_


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Written by Caileigh Winslade

I'm your local writer, video editor, and game designer, but when I'm not creating things I'm probably fueling my rhythm game addiction or cuddling one of my four cats.

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