It's hard to win an election when your name isn't on the ballot. That is a fate that Democrat Abby Finkenauer is facing this morning after a judge's decision has removed her name from the June 7th primary election ballot.

The judge's decision, which was handed down late on Sunday, would prevent the former congresswoman from appearing on the ballot to determine who the Democratic nominee who will face off against Republican Chuck Grassley in November, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The decision will face an appeal, likely headed to the Iowa Supreme Court.

The Gazette reports that Finkenauer's nomination petitions were challenged by those who argued that they failed to submit the required number of valid signatures. As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Finkenauer was required by law to get at least 3500 signatures, including at least 100 each in at least 19 different Iowa counties. A State Objection Panel reviewed her petitions and found that Finkenauer finished with exactly 19 counties, including one with exactly 100 signatures and two more with 101 each, according to the Gazette. Even though members of the panel disagreed, her petitions were approved.

However, the Gazette reports that Polk County District Court Judge Scott Beattie has stated that the panel's interpretation of the law was wrong and that some of the forms were not filled out to the letter of the law. The Finkenauer campaign issued a statement saying that Republicans are backing the challenge because they fear Finkenauer might beat the incumbent Grassley in November.

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