Illinois election board rules Cruz is eligible for the presidency

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The Illinois Board of Elections on Monday said Republican candidate Ted CruzTed CruzO'Malley gives Trump a nickname: 'Chicken Donald' Va. GOP delegate files lawsuit over bound convention votes Our most toxic export: American politick MORE is a natural-born citizen and is eligible to be president.

The Texas senator was born in Calgary to an American mother and Cuban father, which primary rival Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump's proposed ban on Muslims entering US a moving target Clinton camp blasts Trump over Brexit response: 'He patted himself on the back' Trump shifts immigration plan: No 'mass deportations' MORE has suggested might disqualify him from serving as commander in chief.

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But the board ruled that Cruz, who won the Iowa Republican caucuses on Monday, can stay on the ballot for the state's primary election on March 15.

“The candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth,” the board said in its ruling.

The board distinguished between natural born and naturalized citizens, pointing out that Cruz “did not have to take any steps to go through a naturalization process at some point after birth.” The Constitution stipulates that a president must be a "natural born citizen."

“Further discussion on this issue is unnecessary,” the board added.

Responding to several Illinois objectors, the board also cleared Republican candidate Marco Rubio and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to stay on the ballots.

Other candidates not born in the U.S. have run for president in the past. Former Michigan Gov. George Romney, who ran for the Republican nomination in 1968, was born in Mexico to American parents. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 Republican nominee, was born on a military base in Panama.

Cruz, a constitutional lawyer, has strongly maintained that he is eligible to serve as president, despite Trump’s insistence that Democrats will sue the senator if he wins the GOP nomination.

A commission in New Hampshire in January also ruled that Cruz is eligible for that state’s Feb. 9 ballot.

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