Wisconsin became the second state to exclude Kanye West from their 2020 presidential ballot due to a 5-to-1 decision by the Wisconsin Election Commission after a review. The reason given was that he failed to file the necessary signatures and paperwork by the state’s deadline on August 5.
West was also excluded from the ballot in his home state, Illinois, due to the ruling that over 1,900 of his 3,120 signatures were illegitimate. South Carolina presidential ballots will also be Kanye-free due to his failure to submit the required 10,000 signatures at all. Wisconsin is the first of these which is considered to be a ‘swing state’, which makes it the biggest blow to his campaign so far.
The Wisconsin election commission originally challenged the authenticity of West’s signatures in addition to the time of day that West’s attorney dropped them off. The complaint claims West’s attorney Lane Ruhland submitted the signatures after 5 p.m. on August 5, and the state wouldn’t accept signatures “after 5 p.m.” that day. West filed a lawsuit alleging that his attorney submitted the signatures at 5:00:14 p.m., and that to be later than 5 p.m., she would have had to submit them at 5:01 or later. Part of the claim also involved the office being closed and needing someone to come and open it, which delayed the signatures’ submission.
The one commission vote in West’s favor came from a Republican named Robert Spindell who argued that he might’ve made it on time had the building been unlocked and that democrats were allegedly “trying to keep a Black candidate off the ballot.” The other commissioners believed it was fair to mark him tardy, since common sense dictates that “5 p.m. is 5 p.m.”
Earlier this month, West didn’t deny that he was trying to pull votes away from Democratic nominee Joe Biden in an interview with Forbes. However, there’s at least one other source that claims West’s campaign will hurt Trump’s chances instead. An early poll indicated that West’s campaign had no effect on Biden’s numbers.