NH rejects efforts to keep Trump, Sanders off ballot
© Getty Images

A New Hampshire agency has rejected efforts to keep four presidential candidates off the ballot. 

The New Hampshire Ballot Commission upheld New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s decision to allow Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states After Florida school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE (I-Vt.) on the Democratic primary ballot and Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care: Trump eases rules on insurance outside ObamaCare | HHS office on religious rights gets 300 complaints in a month | GOP chair eyes opioid bill vote by Memorial Day HHS official put on leave amid probe into social media posts Trump, Pence to address CPAC this week MORE (R-Texas) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioColbert: Students taking action on gun violence 'give me hope' Lawmakers feel pressure on guns Florida lawmaker's aide fired after claiming shooting survivors were 'actors' MORE (R-Fla.), as well as real estate mogul Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE on the GOP primary ballot. Commission Chairman Bradford Cook said all decisions were unanimous. 

The decision on Sanders came in response to a complaint that argued was he was ineligible to run as a Democrat because he was elected and currently serves as an Independent. 

Sanders’s campaign praised the decision to allow him on the Democratic ballot. 

"The commission's ruling today ensures Bernie's name will be on the New Hampshire ballot, and puts this issue to bed for good,” Sanders’s New Hampshire state director, Julia Barnes, said in a statement.

Cook said that Andy Martin, who filed the Sanders complaint, has already sent an appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, but explained that the commission's decisions can't be appealed.

"From a statutory point of view, our decisions are final and can't be appealed," Cook said. 

Former New Hampshire GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen filed a complaint against Trump, arguing that the real estate mogul isn't aligned with the Republican Party's values. But the commission quickly dismissed the challenge and voted for Trump to appear on the GOP ballot.

"The Trump thing was, no pun intended, trumped up," Cook said.

Two complaints were filed against Cruz. The first one challenged whether the GOP presidential hopeful was a "natural born citizen" — a constitutional requirement to run for president — citing that he was born in Calgary, Canada.

The second alleged that Cruz and Rubio didn't have at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen. Rubio’s parents were born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1956. The commission dismissed both complaints and voted to allow those candidates to be placed on the GOP ballot. 

Trump leads the GOP field in the early-voting state, ahead of his rivals by nearly 15 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls. Rubio and Cruz are in second and third place, respectively.

Sanders trails former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE in New Hampshire by 4.3 points, according to the RCP average.