Rapper Kanye West fell short of appearing on Wisconsin’s presidential ballot Thursday after the state’s election commission ruled that his attorneys filed his petition signatures too late.
West’s campaign submitted the signatures after the 5 p.m. deadline on Aug. 5, but argued that they had until 5:01 p.m. to submit them. The commission disagreed.
“When you’re late, you’re late,” said Commissioner Julie Glancey, during a hearing that culminated in a 5-1 vote against West. “We’ve kicked people off the ballot for being one signature short. If we are holding their feet to the fire on the number of signatures, we need to hold their feet to the fire on the time they file.”
The fate of Kanye appearing on the ballot in Wisconsin all rests on the definition of “no later than 5pm”.
Kanye’s lawyer: Before 5:01:00 is no later than 5pm.
Challengers: Before 5:00:00 is no later than 5pm.
This must be turned into a track. Right?
— Ben Handelman (@BenHandelman) August 20, 2020
West’s effort to get on Wisconsin’s ballot was especially notable given its status as a toss-up state. President Donald Trump defeated 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the state by less than 30,000 votes, a win that was crucial to his electoral victory. Democratic nominee Joe Biden has held a small-but-consistent lead over the president in the state, leading some analysts to see West as a potential spoiler for Biden had he qualified.
A recent Morning Consult poll showed West getting 2% support from black voters, a critical voting bloc of the Democratic party.
West had been a vocal supporter of Trump throughout much of his first term, and has been criticized for reportedly teaming up with GOP operatives while attempting to qualify for presidential ballots in states across the country. His election lawyer, Lane Ruhland, was previously a council for Wisconsin’s GOP and has represented the Trump reelection campaign, Politico reported. (RELATED: Kanye West Meets With White House Advisor Jared Kushner)
West said that he is confident that write-ins will make him competitive on ballots in states where he has failed to appear, according to Politico.
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