Kanye West’s petition to appear on New Jersey’s ballot as a presidential candidate contained more 600 defective signatures, many of which had very similar writing, according to a formal complaint filed with the state Wednesday.
Election law attorney Scott Salmon, a registered Democrat, filed the objection with the state Division of Elections after reviewing the more than 1,300 signatures the rapper had submitted.
West managed to exceed the requirement of 800 signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent candidate in time for the deadline on Monday.
Salmon, however, highlighted a number of issues with West’s submission which he described as ‘egregiously bad, almost to a degree insulting’, Politico reported.
‘Mr. West’s petitions do not contain the valid signatures of 800 qualified voters and should have been rejected by the Division,’ Salmon wrote.
The petition shows that a number of signatures appear nearly identical, including lower-case i’s dotted with a small circle. Some signatures lack complete addresses.
West’s spokesperson directed questions to what appeared to be a campaign email address. A message seeking comment was sent to that address.
The Division of Elections did not respond to an emailed message seeking a response.
In the weeks since launching his presidential bid on July 4, the rapper has made a series of bizarre Twitter rants and held a campaign event where he broke down in tears, sparking concerns over his mental health.
‘I’m not his doctor. I’m not his wife. So I don’t know what his mental state is. I’ve seen the reports. I’m just looking at this based on what the law is in New Jersey, and this doesn’t meet this level,’ Salmon added.
Wife Kim Kardashian West last week asked for empathy for her husband and said he is bipolar.
Earlier this month in South Carolina, Kanye West delivered an unconventional campaign introduction speech during which he proposed a $1million payout to mothers and decried Harriet Tubman for her work on the Underground Railroad.
New Jersey law also allows for someone other than the candidate herself or himself to gather signatures.
Those people are required to submit paperwork avowing they’re who they say they are and the people whose signatures were collected are also who they say they are.
Those documents were not filed, according to Salmon’s complaint.
Sometimes similar handwriting in some of the fields can be explained because the so-called circulator filled out the paperwork after the petition was signed, especially in cases where someone could be short on time, for instance, according to Salmon.
In five years as a New Jersey election law attorney there hasn’t been an application with as many issues as West’s, Salmon said.
Salmon said he did not file the letter on behalf of any Democratic organization and filed the complaint on his own behalf.
New Jersey is a reliably Democratic state in presidential elections, siding with the Democrat since 1988.