Kanye West Won’t Appear on Wisconsin Ballot; Missed Deadline by Seconds

On Friday, a judge ruled that Kanye West would not appear on the ballot in Wisconsin in the 2020 presidential election because he missed the deadline to apply by 14 seconds. West's last-minute entry into the presidential race has been hindered at many steps, forcing his supporters to add him in as a write-in candidate if they really want to vote for him.

According to a report by Variety, Judge John Zakowski ruled on West's late entry into the Wisconsin election on Friday night. The Wisconsin Elections Commission argued that West and his team had missed the 5 p.m. deadline by 14 seconds, while West's team argued that they had until 5:01, when that minute was over, to submit. Zakowski sided with the Elections Commission, writing: "The court believes at the time a grandfather clock rings out five times is the moment it is 5 p.m. Any time after that is precisely that: after 5 p.m."

"The court used the analogy of midnight," he went on. "There is significant difference between 11:59:59 p.m. and one second after midnight. The passage of a second after midnight confers an entirely new day."

West's team had other grievances in this case that went unanswered. For example, they reported that the WEC staff locked the doors before 5 p.m., interfering with their ability to get the paperwork in on time. Zakowski noted these complaints, but said that he still did not see why West's team was turning in the paperwork so close to the deadline in the first place.

"The unfortunate fact is this dispute could have been avoided had the West representatives simply arrived earlier," he wrote. "The court is aware the signatures were gathered in roughly two days, but it has also been told [West campaign representative] Ms. Ruhland knew of the statutory requirement… and had been in contact with the Commission that day."


West announced his intention to run for president in July, months after the initial primary race, and late by presidential campaign standards. He has already been denied a spot on the ballot in several other states because of various deadlines — some of which had already passed when he announced his candidacy. He has reportedly struggled to secure signatures for petitions that he needed as well.

West is still running as an independent candidate, claiming that he no longer supports President Donald Trump as he did before. However, his rhetoric has been more critical of Democrats than of the current president.