Independent candidate qualifies for Utah ballot

Story highlights

  • Evan McMullin launched an independent presidential bid
  • He made the presidential ballot in Utah

Washington (CNN)Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin has qualified for the ballot in Utah, putting him one step closer to making a difference in the race for the White House.

McMullin, a conservative, had to submit 1,000 qualified signatures by Monday to the state and he submitted 1,083 qualified signatures, which earns him a spot on the ballot, said Justin Lee, Utah's deputy director of elections.
    "I'm officially on the ballot in #Utah! Thank you to all our volunteers who collected signatures! #StandUpWithEvan," he tweeted.
    McMullin's long-shot bid could hamper Republican nominee Donald Trump from getting Utah's six electoral votes in November, potentially putting the deep red state in play for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
    McMullin, who is Mormon and from Utah, could potentially siphon away conservative voters in the Mormon-heavy state where Trump was beaten handily by Ted Cruz in the primary contest.
    Anti-Trump Republicans recruited McMullin into the race last week and have been reaching out 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney for his support. Romney had urged GOP primary voters to support Cruz.