Kanye West fails to qualify on Ohio ballot in November


By Farnoush Amiri - Report for America/Associated Press



COLUMBUS (AP) — Rapper Kanye West won’t appear on Ohio’s ballot as an unaffiliated presidential candidate this November because of mismatched information on his signature gathering documents, Ohio’s elections chief said Friday.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose rejected the nearly 15,000 signatures and other paperwork West submitted earlier this month in an attempt to run for president, an effort that appears to have support from Republicans eager to draw votes from Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

LaRose’s announcement was the second setback for West in two days. On Thursday, Wisconsin election officials decided to keep West off the battleground state’s presidential ballot because his campaign turned his nomination papers moments after the deadline.

Earlier this month, West without explanation withdrew his petition to appear as a presidential candidate on New Jersey’s ballot.

The Ohio decision pulled the rapper and business mogul farther from his goal of taking away votes from Biden.

In a tweet on July 25, West wrote, “I CAN BEAT BIDEN OFF IN WRITE INS #2020VISION.”

A message was left with a West representative Friday seeking comment.

West publicly supported Republican President Donald Trump, then appeared to break with the incumbent when he announced his own presidential bid on July 4.

In recent weeks, he has been qualified to appear on the ballot in a number of states, including Utah, Wisconsin and Colorado.

It appears West is receiving help qualifying for presidential ballots in those key states from Republicans around the country, adding to the suspicions that he’s trying to siphon support away from Biden.

Democrats, braced for a close race, are anxious about any third-party candidate drawing voters.

Trump’s reelection campaign has denied involvement in West’s White House bid.

But the status of West’s presidential campaign and whether he is truly seeking the White House still remains unclear less than three months from election day.

Kim Kardashian West last month asked for empathy for her husband and said he is bipolar.

Last month in South Carolina, West delivered an unconventional campaign introduction speech during which he proposed a $1 million payout to mothers and decried Harriet Tubman for her work on the Underground Railroad.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus contributed to this report. Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

By Farnoush Amiri

Report for America/Associated Press