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US Election 2020: Kanye West fails to get on state ballots

Kanye West’s presidential bid is in trouble after three more states denied him positions on their ballots this November.

West failed to make the ballot in his home state of Illinois and the critical battleground states of Ohio and Wisconsin.

The Ohio secretary of state’s office ruled the rapper didn’t qualify after he filed a petition with fake signatures – as in the ones on his ballot petition didn’t match documents used for petitions signed by voters. 

‘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,’ Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a statement. ‘There is no doubt that the West nominating petition and declaration of candidacy failed to meet the necessary threshold for certification.’ 

In Illinois, West, who was raised in Chicago, didn’t file have enough valid signatures by the state’s deadline even though a judge had lowered the signature requirement from 25,000 to 2,500 to make up for COVID restrictions that made the process more difficult. 

West only only collected 1,200 valid signatures. 

And, in Wisconsin he missed the 5 p.m. filing deadline – by 14 seconds. 

West’s attorneys appealed to Wisconsin’s board of elections – arguing they actually had until 5:01 p.m. to file – but their appeal was denied. It was a unanimous decision by the three Democrats and two Republicans on the panel to keep the billionaire rapper off the ballot.

West has made the presidential ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont – which, in total have 31 electoral votes. That’s far fewer than the 270 needed to win the White House.

And, of those five states, only Colorado is a battleground one where West could siphon off voters from Joe Biden – a worry that Democrats have about his candidacy. 

Michelle Obama took a veiled swipe at West in her speech to the Democratic National Convention this week, urging voters not to ‘play games with candidates who have no chance of winning’. 

The former first lady told Democrats that ‘this is not the time to withhold our votes in protest’ as she urged voters to back Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  

Concern among Democrats ratcheted last week after Jared Kushner, the senior White House adviser who also has a hand in Trump’s re-election campaign, confirmed that he had spoken with West several times, along with other members of the billionaire long-shot presidential campaign.

‘Kanye’s been a friend of mine for — I’ve known him for about 10 years,’ the president’s senior adviser said during a White House press briefing.

‘There’s a lot of issues that the president has championed that he admires,’ Kushner said of him.

West announced in July his independent bid for president – and recent reports reveal that many GOP operatives have been making efforts to get him on the ballot in certain states.

This has prompted speculation that Republican may be launching an effort to hurt Biden’s chances by siphoning off votes from Biden to West.

‘We both happened to be in Colorado, and we got together and we had a great discussion about a lot of things,’ Kushner said of their sit-down. ‘He has some great ideas for what he’d like to see happen in the country and that’s why he has the candidacy that he’s been doing.’

Kushner refused to say if he had discussed the presidential campaign in general, but said they ‘had a general discussion more about policy.’

If he had discussed the campaign, it would have been in violation of the Hatch Act since, as an executive branch appointee, Kushner is not permitted to conduct campaign business.

His reveal came after West confirmed on Twitter the The New York Times report he met with the president’s aide in Colorado while they both in the state at the same time.

West claimed that they talked about books.  

‘I’m willing to do a live interview with the New York Time [sic] about my meeting with Jared where we discussed Dr Claude Anderson’s book Powernomics,’ the rapper wrote.

Kim Kardashian West asked the public to show compassion and empathy toward her husband in a tweet last month, saying he is bipolar. 

And, earlier this month, President Trump denied any involvement in the effort by West to get on the ballot in presidential battleground states. 

‘I’m not involved,’ Trump said at the White House when asked him the issue.  

‘I like him. He’s always been very nice to me,’ Trump said, praising the rapper-producer who appeared with him at the White House in 2018 and sported his trademark red Make America Great Again hat. 

But Trump denied a role in West’s latest actions. 

‘No, not at all. No, not at all. Other than I get along with him very well. I like him. I like his wife. His wife recommended certain people as you know for, including Alice Johnson who’s a fantastic woman,’ Trump continued, praising Kim Kardashian and pointing to her successful push for Trump to grant clemency for her life sentence on a drug conviction.

The president briefly veered into a discussion about prison reform.  

‘But his wife recommended certain people to get out of prison. They were in prison for a long time. A long, long time. And should have never happened. And I took what she said very strong – Kim Kardashian,’ Trump continued. ‘And she’s got a good heart. A very good heart. And I like Kanye very much.’

Then he added: ‘No, I have nothing to do with him getting on the ballot.’ 

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