By Jasmine Otam
INDIANAPOLIS — Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz will remain on the Indiana ballot after challenges surrounding their eligibility.
The Indiana Election Commission met Friday and heard from Richard Carter and Bob Kern about removing the presidential candidates from Indiana’s primary election ballot. Both had concerns about the candidates being “natural born” citizens, which is a requirement to become President of the United States.
Carter argued Rubio does not meet the Constitution’s “natural born” citizen requirement because he was born to Cuban immigrants.
“Natural born citizens cannot be determined by a political body or the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Carter.
But Tom John, an attorney speaking on behalf of Rubio, believed the case should be dismissed because Rubio was born in Florida.
“In the drafting of Article 2 Section 1, it’s been unequivocated that when someone is born to this soil that they are in fact United States citizens, regardless of the citizenship of their parents,” said John.
The commission voted unanimously to keep Rubio on the Indiana ballot.
Kern started presenting his challenge by giving the commission members copies of Ted Cruz’s birth certificate showing Cruz’s birth name, Rafael, and that he was born in Calgary, Canada.
“Whatever name appears on the ballot needs to appear on the birth certificate,” said Kern, referring to law in Indiana created in 1998.
“Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that you can live in another country, and run for president,” he said.
But the commission discussed presidential candidates are allowed to file with their legal name, but appear on the ballot with a nickname.
Alexander Will, who represented Cruz, argued natural born citizen language of the law is also clear.
“A citizen that is born by the U.S. citizen—even if birth takes place abroad—he’s still a U.S. citizen eligible for the presidency of the United States,” said Will.
The commission voted 3-1 to keep Cruz on the ballot.
Both Cruz and Rubio have faced similar challenges in other states and won.
Jasmine Otam is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.