Why Trump Might Not Appear on Some States' 2020 Ballots

Garden State voters may not be able to cast ballots for President Trump in 2020 unless he's prepared to show where he gets his green.
by | February 22, 2019 AT 3:08 PM

By Chris Sommerfeldt

Garden State voters may not be able to cast ballots for President Trump in 2020 unless he's prepared to show where he gets his green.

The New Jersey state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that would block presidential and vice presidential candidates from appearing on ballots in the next general election if they refuse to publicly release their tax returns.

The measure, which passed the Democratically-controlled Senate in a 23-11 vote, would prove particularly problematic for Trump, who has broken with presidential norms in refusing to publicize his returns since taking office.

The legislation now heads to an Assembly committee. If it passes the panel, it will likely be voted on by the full legislature before heading to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy's desk.

A spokesman for Murphy declined to comment.

A similar measure passed the New Jersey legislature in 2017, but then-Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the legislation, blasting it as a "political stunt."

At least 30 other state legislatures have introduced similar legislation but the ballot restrictions have never been signed into law.

Democrats have long sought to put pressure on Trump over his reluctance to release his tax returns. He's the first President in decades to not disclose his tax information.

In addition to not adhering to transparency traditions, Trump stoked controversy upon taking office by refusing to fully divest himself from his namesake business empire, with critics accusing him of trying to profit from the presidency.

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