FACT CHECK: Did Nikki Haley Miss The Deadline To Get On Indiana’s Primary Ballot?
In a Jan. 31 post shared on TRUTH Social, former President Donald Trump claimed fellow 2024 hopeful and former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley purportedly missed the deadline to get on the primary ballot in Indiana.
Although Haley does not currently appear on the Indiana Secretary of State’s Candidate List for the May 7 Primary Election, she has until Feb. 9 to file a declaration of candidacy and submit her petition signatures. A Haley spokesperson told Check Your Fact she would be on the Indiana primary ballot in an email.
On Feb. 5, Haley’s campaign revealed she had her highest fundraising numbers of the campaign thus far — with $16.5 million raised — in January 2024, according to The New York Times. Despite the significant fundraising haul, Haley is still behind Trump, according to an average of South Carolina polls, which place them at 32% and 63%, respectively, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In his Jan. 31 TRUTH Social post, Trump claimed Haley purportedly missed the deadline to get on the primary ballot in Indiana. “Nikki Haley is not on the Ballot in Indiana because she didn’t get enough Petition Signatures–She missed the deadline!” Trump wrote in part. “If she’s not on in Indiana, she’s not a serious Candidate,” he added.
The claim is misleading. According to the 2024 Indiana Candidate Guide, available via the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office, Jan. 30 is the deadline for Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to “submit petition signatures to county voter registration officials for certification.” Likewise, Feb. 9 is the deadline for presidential candidates to both file their declaration of candidacy in order to run in the primary and to submit their certified petitions.
Angela Nussmeyer, co-director of the Indiana Election Division, confirmed the Feb. 9 deadline in an email to Check Your Fact.
“Candidate filing closes in Indiana at noon, Friday, February 9, 2024. Candidates for US President must file their consent and county-certified petitions with the Secretary of State or Indiana Election Division by this deadline. A candidate filing by this deadline will appear on the ballot unless a challenge is filed,” Nussmeyer said.
According to a Feb. 1 article published by the Indianapolis Star, candidates must submit 500 signatures from each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts. In the same article, the outlet noted that Haley had received 4,781 petition signatures as of Jan. 31 and had not yet reached the required 500 signatures in the state’s 7th and 9th congressional districts.
Niki Kelly, editor-in-chief of the Indiana Capital Chronicle, confirmed Haley was “short on signatures” and “likely not on the [Indiana primary ballot]” as a result in a Feb. 2 X post.
“I sent a note to Marion County voting officials about whether Nikki Haley has enough signatures to make the presidential ballot here. They confused me for her and responded ‘Niki. As of this writing you are short on signatures.’ So Haley likely not on the ballot,” Kelly wrote.
In a subsequent post, Kelly noted that others were reporting Haley had the signatures to qualify for the Indiana primary ballot.
“Others are reporting she DOES have the signatures and I wish to god some state or county official would clearly say yes or no,” Kelly said.
Jay Kenworthy, communications director for Indiana Republican Sen. Todd Young, responded to Kelly’s post, saying Haley is technically on the ballot until her filing is potentially challenged and the Election Commission rules.
“The legal answer is ‘yes,’ for now. If you file, you’re on the ballot until/unless someone challenges your filing and the Election Commission rules. So the more accurate answer for reporting purposes is ‘too soon to know for sure,'” Kenworthy explained.
Kenworthy’s assessment appears to be correct based on a February 2022 article from WYFI indicating the Indiana Election Commission had removed two Democratic candidates and one Republican candidate from the primary ballot after they all failed to obtain 500 petition signatures from every congressional district in the state.
Nussmeyer also confirmed candidacy can be challenged.
“To dispute a candidate’s qualifications, including whether the candidate has enough certified petition signatures, a voter of the election district or a county chair of the election district has until noon, Friday, February 16, 2024, to file a challenge. Pursuant to state law, the Indiana Election Commission will hold a hearing to permit both parties (the challenger and challenged candidate) to present their facts and evidence for the Commission to weigh in their decision-making to remove a candidate (or not),” Nussmeyer explained.
Alternatively, Politico reporter Adam Wren said on X that he’d obtained the official count of petition signatures from the state of Indiana and Haley received 502 signatures in Marion County, or the 7th congressional district, which means she had enough “get on the ballot.”
In addition, Wren shared a statement from a Haley spokesperson indicating the former Republican South Carolina Governor would be on the Indiana primary ballot.
“Per Haley spox: ‘We’ll be on the ballot [in Indiana]. We turned in more than double all the signatures required and they are being verified now as part of the process before the filing deadline on February 9,'” Wren wrote on X.
Haley’s spokesperson, AnnMarie Graham-Barnes, provided the same statement that appeared in Wren’s X post to Check Your Fact via email.
Furthermore, Haley responded to the former Republican President’s claim about her not being on the Indiana primary ballot, calling him “confused again.” (RELATED: Joe Biden Claimed Billionaires Only Pay 8% Income Tax)
“Looks like Donald Trump is confused again… Another reason why he’s too afraid to debate me,” Haley said, referencing a recent instance where Trump appeared to confuse her with Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi.
Besides Check Your Fact, Newsweek looked into Trump’s claim, labeling it as false in a Feb. 2 article.
Although Haley has until Feb. 9 to file her declaration of candidacy and submit her petition signatures, she does not currently appear on the Indiana Secretary of State’s Candidate List for the May 7 Primary Election.
Check Your Fact has also contacted the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office and the Trump campaign for comment.