Kanye West Kicked Off Illinois and Wisconsin 2020 Presidential Ballots

Kanye West appears with models during the showing of his Yeezy Boost shoe line for Adidas on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, during Fashion Week in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

According to reports, Kanye West’s bid to make the 2020 presidential election ballots in Wisconsin and Illinois fell short this week. On Friday, the Illinois State Board of Elections voted unanimously, 8 to 0, to exclude the rap superstar from the 2020 ballot because he failed to get enough valid signatures on his nomination petitions, NBC reported.

Early this month, West faced several petition challenges after turning in more than 2,500 signatures to satisfy the state’s requirement to have 2,500 voters sign on to support his ballot bid.

The petition requirement had already been steeply reduced in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Illinois. The state’s original signature rule required independent candidates to earn 25,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. That number was reduced to 2,500 because candidates and their canvassers could not get face-to-face with voters to get petition signatures due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Even though West turned in 3,218 signatures, election officials deemed that 60 percent of the names and signatures were invalid.

Wisconsin election officials also voted this week to keep Kanye off the state’s 2020 ballots. The bipartisan commission ruled 5-1 that West failed to file its nomination by the August 4, 5 p.m. deadline, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Commissioner Dean Knudson, a GOP member of the commission who voted to deny West’s bid, said, “I regret it’s the case, I do not feel they filed timely.” Only one Republican appointee, Robert Spindell, voted to allow West access to the 2020 ballot. Three Democrats and two Republicans voted against West’s bid.

According to election officials, West’s representatives did not walk into the office until 5:01 p.m. on August 4, one minute past the deadline. That was enough to douse West’s election hopes in the Dairy State.

“It’s not for us to determine how late the papers were,” said Democrat Commissioner Mark Thomsen. “We had unequivocal testimony that they got into the building after 5 o’clock.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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