Kanye West will likely not appear on the Illinois ballot for president on Nov. 3 after the state elections board found that almost 2,000 of the signatures he submitted were invalid. Meanwhile in Wisconsin, the state Democratic Party filed a complaint about the West's nomination papers, which allegedly included signatures from "Mickey Mouse" and "Bernie Sanders." Last week, multiple outlets reported that Republican operatives have been helping West to get on the state ballots.
West filed 3,218 signatures to get on the Illinois ballot, far more than the 2,500 valid signatures needed, reports the Chicago Tribune. However, an Illinois election board review found that 1,928 of them were invalid. The preliminary findings will then go to a hearing examiner, whose job is to decide if West can stay on the ballot, and the recommendation will come within 10 days. The Illinois State Board of Elections will vote on the recommendation on Aug. 21. There is also another challenge for West in Illinois, as he did not file a running mate or list electors for the Electoral College, which Illinois requires.
In my case against #KanyeWest , IL Bd of Elections records examination today finds him 1,300 valid signatures short of minimum required, meaning he is virtually certain to be kicked off ballot in IL. pic.twitter.com/g9e6DESZSb— Ed Mullen (@edmullen3) August 7, 2020
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, considered a major battleground state in the 2020 election, the state Democratic Party filed a complaint on West's papers, saying he missed Tuesday's deadline to file valid signatures to get on the ballot, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Democrats claim there are incorrect addresses for the circulators and fake signatures for names like "Mickey Mouse," "Bernie Sanders" and even "Kanye West." The complaint will be reviewed by Election Commission staff, who will make a recommendation to a bipartisan board. West needed 2,000 valid signatures to make the ballot, and his campaign submitted a list of 2,400 signatures.
The complaint's affidavits include comments from six individuals who said they did not know they were signing a document to help the rapper get on the ballot. For example, Cheryl Pernell said she signed a document outside a Walmart because a circulator told her the signature was needed to make sure she was registered to vote. Later, she said she would not have signed it if she knew it was for West's nomination. Another woman said the circulator paid her $1 to sign the document.
Early last week, it was reported that Republican operatives were involved in efforts to get West on state ballots. In Wisconsin, Lane Ruhland, an attorney representing President Donald Trump's reelection campaign and a former state GOP legal counsel, dropped off West's nomination papers on Tuesday. Ruhland's exact role within West's campaign is unknown, but she is representing Trump's campaign in a lawsuit against a TV station. Five of the 10 people West listed as electors also have ties to the Wisconsin GOP or are Trump supporters, the Journal Sentinel reports.
In a Forbes interview, West appeared to confirm his candidacy is meant to be a spoiler for former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign. Although West would not clearly respond to questions about his ballot efforts or working with Republican officials, he hinted he still has connections within the Trump administration. He claimed to have a meeting scheduled with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to discuss the "post-COVID curriculum," but DeVos' office has not commented.