Larry Elder Sues California over Ballot Exclusion: ‘Voter Suppression’

Conservative radio host Larry Elder filed a lawsuit Tuesday against California Secretary of State Shirley Weber over her decision to exclude him from the list of candidates for governor in the September recall of incumbent Gavin Newsom.

As Breitbart News reported Sunday, Elder was excluded from the initial list of candidates, ostensibly because he filed incomplete tax returns (which he denies). Weber exempted Newsom from the same requirement, saying he is not a “candidate.”

A statement Tuesday by the Elder campaign said:

The secretary of state’s office has notified the Elder for Governor campaign that he did not qualify as a candidate due to redaction issues with the income tax returns filed with his candidacy application. No candidate has been previously disqualified for this reason. Elder filed suit today seeking an order from the Superior Court in Sacramento requiring Secretary Weber to list Elder as a candidate on the final certified list, to be issued on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

“We’ve complied with everything the secretary of state has required of us,” said Elder. “The politicians in Sacramento know I’m the only candidate who can beat Gavin Newsom. They are afraid, and they are using whatever shenanigans they can to try to trip me up. It won’t work.”

The Elder for Governor campaign is seeking immediate legal relief. “I am waging a legal battle to run as the candidate for Californians who are tired of the partisanship and entrenched interests of Sacramento. I fully expect to be on the final certified list of candidates,” said Elder.

The complaint filed by the Elder campaign claims that he handed in all of the “relevant tax documents” on time, even naming the state employee to which the documents were handed. It also points out that the California law requiring candidates to submit their tax returns applies to primary election, not explicitly to recall elections; that portions of the law have already been declared unconstitutional; and that the Secretary of State is exempting Newsom from its requirements.

The complaint also notes that the Secretary of State can correct any errors in redacted portions of a tax return by referring to the unreacted versions, nd redacting the correct portions when the candidates’ tax returns are released to the public.

The irony of a Democratic state government excluding a black candidate from the ballot while exempting a white incumbent from the same requirement did not go unnoticed, as Democrats claim Republicans want to disenfranchise black voters in conservative states with new legislation enforcing voter ID and other ballot integrity provisions.

Betty Chu, former mayor of Monterey Park, California, who is also suing the Secretary of State, said: “This is the first time that I have ever felt voter suppression personally.”

The final list of candidates will be released on Wednesday, July 21.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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