His campaign has spent months gathering the signatures that states require for independent candidates — those not affiliated with a political party — to appear on the ballot in November. Those signatures are then verified by state election officials before the candidate is certified to appear. Kennedy can also appear on states’ ballots if he’s nominated by a minor political party that has already petitioned for ballot access. But many election officials told The Post they won’t certify those petitions or green-light minor party nominees for several weeks, making it impossible for Kennedy to check off the requirement in time for the debate.