West has missed the deadline to qualify as a non-affiliated candidate in multiple states, but he is on the ballot in others
Yesterday, reports surfaced that Kanye West’s presidential campaign was over. The rapper was serious about running for president: he’d assembled a campaign team of staff and volunteers, and he even brought in campaign adviser Steve Kramer to help. But, in an interview with New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, Kramer said that despite efforts to place his name on the ballot in Florida and South Carolina, West had dropped his plans. Kramer decisively said: “He’s out.”
And, in a sense, it is over. The Ledger reports that in Flordia, West missed the noon deadline to submit the required 132,781 signatures from supporters that would qualify him as a non-affiliated candidate for the ballot, according to records from the state’s Division of Elections. Given Florida is one of America’s most populous states, with 29 electoral votes, it’s essential that he’s on the ballot if he has a chance of winning. He also missed similar deadlines in six other states.
However, this doesn’t mean that West can’t still run in other states, even if he has no real chance of winning overall. TMZ reports that West filed his Statement of Organisation – the first form required by the Federal Election Committee – yesterday, declaring that the Kanye 2020 committee will serve as the ‘Principal Campaign Committee’, with West as its candidate. He has not yet filed the second, more important Statement of Candidacy form, which is needed to trigger candidacy status under federal campaign finance law.
But he is officially on the ballot in Oklahoma, filing the necessary paperwork on the final day before the deadline passed (yes, call it a ‘late registration’ if you must). “Independent presidential candidate Kanye West has qualified for the General Election ballot in Oklahoma,” the Oklahoma State Election Board confirmed in a tweet. He could also be on the ballot in Wyoming, where he has a ranch. West yesterday shared a video of him registering to vote for the first time at the county clerk office in Cody, Wyoming, where he also discussed voter disenfranchisement.
As for how much of the vote he’ll get, that’s another question – a poll put him at just two per cent recently. More concerningly, TMZ recently reported that people close to West are worried that he is in the midst of a serious bipolar episode, and his presidential ambitions are wrapped up in this.
Regardless, the ‘Ye 2020 saga is not necessarily over yet – and if it doesn’t happen now, there’s always the chance of ‘Ye 2024, too. Brace yourself.
Independent presidential candidate Kanye West has qualified for the General Election ballot in Oklahoma. (Today is Oklahoma's deadline for Independent & Unrecognized Party presidential candidates to file statements of candidacy with their petitions or filing fee.)— Oklahoma State Election Board (@OKelections) July 15, 2020