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Challenges Argue Kanye West Filed Petitions Late, Should Be Barred From Wisconsin Presidential Ballot

Complaints Filed Friday Also Argue West's Nomination Papers Were Filled With Errors

Kanye West in the Oval Office
Rapper Kanye West smiles as he listens to a question from a reporter during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House with President Donald Trump, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Multiple complaints filed Friday argue rapper Kanye West failed to meet key requirements to get on Wisconsin’s presidential ballot, listing an incorrect address for himself and incomplete addresses for petition circulators while turning in his nomination papers late.

Both complaints argue the mistakes are enough to disqualify West’s nomination papers, a move that could prove consequential in swing state Wisconsin, where President Donald Trump won by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016.

While West is running as an independent candidate, Republicans have helped his efforts to get on Wisconsin’s presidential ballot. West, who has previously supported President Trump, has acknowledged that his candidacy could pull Black votes away from Democrat Joe Biden.

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Lane Ruhland, an attorney for Trump’s presidential campaign, hand-delivered West’s petitions Tuesday shortly after the 5:00 p.m. filing deadline according to WISN-TV. Both complaints filed Friday argue that alone is enough to qualify the petitions.

One of the complaints, which was filed by Milwaukee resident Joseph Santeler, contends West also listed a home address in Wyoming where he does not live, which Santeler argued was also disqualifying.

The second complaint, filed by Milwaukee residents William Brent, Keith Smith and Lauren Steven, as well as Oshkosh resident Richard Hughes, contends West’s circulators lied to some voters in order to get them to sign the petitions.

It also argues several signatures are illegible and some are fraudulent. For example, the petitions included the names “Mickey Mouse” and “Bernie Sanders,” not to mention two instances of “Kanye West.”

Both complaints also argue that the people circulating Wests signatures failed to list their full or home addresses in many instances, which is required by law. That would be enough to strike 1,517 signatures according to the second complaint.

Both complaints were filed Friday afternoon shortly before a 4:30 p.m. deadline for challenges. West’s campaign will have until 4:30 p.m. Monday to respond.

Staff at the Wisconsin Elections Commission will eventually issue a recommendation on whether to accept West’s signatures. The six appointed members who run the commission will meet within the next couple weeks to make a final decision.