Abby Finkenauer is ineligible to appear on the Democratic primary ballot for the US Senate in June, a Polk County judge has ruled.

Finkenauer fell three signatures short of the requirement to appear on ballots, Polk County District Judge Scott Beattie said, after two Democrats on a state panel improperly allowed the signatures. The panel was made up of two Democrats – State Auditor Rob Sand and Attorney General Tom Miller – and one Republican – Secretary of State Paul Pate. The ruling came after the argument that the signatures were nullified because the signers hadn’t included the correct date on the petition. The ruling is being appealed and will be submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, April 13 at 1:00 p.m.

That ruling was challenged in court by two Iowa Republicans, Kim Schmett and Leanne Pellett. They argue the signatures should’ve been disallowed and the panel violated the law by approving them. A Polk County judge has agreed with them. In his ruling, Judge Scott Beattie wrote:

The Court takes no joy in this conclusion. This Court should not be in the position to make a difference in an election, and Ms. Finkenauer and her supporters should have a chance to advance her candidacy. However, this Court’s job is to sit as a referee and apply the law without passion or prejudice. It is required to rule without consideration of the politics of the day. Here the Court has attempted to fulfill that role.

Judge Scott Beattie

Finkenauer is running to challenge Senator Charles Grassley in November. Democrats Mike Franken and Glenn Hurst did both qualify for the primary ballot.

DOCUMENT: 22-0618 Schmett v. State Objections Panel Supreme Court Order Filed