US elections: Kanye West disqualified from presidential ballot in four states

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Voters in three more states won’t see Kayne West on their ballots for president this year.

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Election officials in Ohio, Illinois and West Virginia ruled Friday that the rapper, who announced in July he was running for president as an independent, didn’t qualify to appear on their state ballots. The rulings came a day after Wisconsin officials decided that West wasn’t eligible for that battleground state’s ballot.

Several news outlets have reported that the late bid by West, 43, to get on the ballot in several states is being helped by Republican lawyers or operatives with the hope he could siphon votes from Democratic nominee Joe Biden to help President Donald Trump’s re-election bid.

In her speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, former First Lady Michelle Obama alluded to West’s fledgling spoiler campaign. “This is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning, she said.

West was disqualified in Ohio because information and a signature on a nominating petition and statement of candidacy for the rapper and running mate Michelle Tidball didn’t match the paperwork used to gather needed voter signatures, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a release.

“A signature is the most basic form of authentication and an important, time-honored, security measure to ensure that a candidate aspires to be on the ballot and that a voter is being asked to sign a legitimate petition, LaRose, a Republican, said in a statement. “There is no doubt that the West nominating petition and declaration of candidacy failed to meet the necessary threshold for certification.

In Illinois, West’s home state, the State Board of Elections voted 8-0 on Friday that he is ineligible for the ballot there because he lacked the 2,500 valid signatures needed, spokesman Matt Dietrich said. About 1,300 signatures were determined not to be genuine or the signer was not registered at the address shown, Dietrich said.

Election officials in West Virginia determined that West’s campaign had only 6,383 of the 7,144 valid signatures needed to qualify, said Jennifer Gardner, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission voted 5-1 on Thursday to deny ballot access to West because his campaign turned in nomination papers there after the filing deadline on August 4, spokesman Reid Magney said.

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