Kanye West booted off ballot in Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois

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WISCONSIN (WFRV/WJW/WGN) – Elections officials in Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois have voted to prevent rapper Kanye West from getting on the ballot for the presidential election.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission voted 5-1 on Thursday to keep West and running mate Michelle Tidball’s names off the ballot.

Earlier this week, the commission recommended West be kept off the battleground state’s presidential ballot in November because he missed a deadline to submit nomination papers.

The staff determined Tuesday that West and running mate Michelle Tidball missed a 5 p.m. deadline on Aug. 5, the last day for independent presidential candidates to submit the required 2,000 signatures of Wisconsin voters to get on the ballot.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Friday that the Grammy-winning rapper and his running mate failed to meet the requirements necessary to appear on the presidential ballot in Ohio for the general election.

According to the Secretary of State, West had some signatures that did not match.

 “A signature is the most basic form of authentication and an important, time-honored, security measure to ensure that a candidate aspires to be on the ballot and that a voter is being asked to sign a legitimate petition. There is no doubt that the West nominating petition and declaration of candidacy failed to meet the necessary threshold for certification,” LaRose said in a statement.

In Illinois, election officials reportedly voted 8-0 to keep West off the November ballot.

Democrats allege that Republicans are pushing West’s candidacy in several swing states to siphon Black votes away from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Wisconsin is expected to play a key role in deciding the election after President Donald Trump narrowly won the state in 2016.

According to the Associated Press, West has also submitted signatures in Minnesota. Utah and Arkansas have determined he qualifies as a presidential candidate. His ballot petition in New Jersey failed.

West announced his candidacy on July 4, saying in a tweet: “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION”

Tesla’s Elon Musk was among Kanye’s earlier supporters, however he later said he tried to convince West to postpone his campaign until the next election cycle.

Just over a week later, reports surfaced that West was dropping out of the 2020 presidential race. According to New York Magazine’s The Intelligencer, an adviser hired by West, Steve Kramer, said “he’s out.”

A few days later, West held a rally in South Carolina where he criticized Harriet Tubman and touched on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals.

Back in 2015, West announced at the MTV VMA Awards he would launch a presidential race for 2020. In January of 2019, the rapper teased a 2024 bid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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