NJ Democrat challenges Kanye West’s petition signatures to appear on presidential ballot
A former congressional candidate in New Jersey is challenging Kanye West’s petition to be included as an independent candidate on the presidential ballot, claiming some of the signatures appear to be missing required information and may be written by the same person.
Scott Salmon, a Democratic lawyer who ran for Congress in 2018, sent a letter to the state Division of Elections questioning the validity of West’s petition signatures, Politico reported Wednesday.
West filed 1,327 petition signatures with New Jersey on Monday, which was significantly more than the 800 necessary to secure a place on the ballot.
However, Salmon claimed that they were “egregiously bad, almost to a degree insulting.”
He told the outlet that the signatures on West’s petition include dozens of people in a row whose handwriting looks similar, even including little circles over the letter I in their names.
“The odds that 30 people in a row from all over the state would have a little circle about the Is is a little hard to believe,” he said.
West, who listed his address as Cody, Wyo., was one of seven independent candidates who filed with New Jersey.
— Scott Salmon (@VoteSalmon) July 29, 2020
The rapper, who was raised in Chicago, is also facing a petition challenge in Illinois, where there are reportedly three objections filed with the state’s board of elections.
West submitted 412 pages of signature sheets just four minutes before the deadline, Illinois State Board of Elections Public Information Officer Matt Dietrich said in a statement to The Hill last week.
Petition sheets typically contain 10 names per sheet. Not every line of the pages West submitted are filled, according to Dietrich, and election officials will need to certify that he received at least 2,500 signatures.
The entertainer made his July 4 candidacy announcement late in the election cycle, with slightly more than 120 days until Election Day. Candidates register with the Federal Election Commission to disclose their campaign finance information, but they need to register in each state to be put on the ballot.
He has so far missed the deadline to appear on the ballots in several states, including North Carolina, New Mexico, Texas, Michigan, Florida and Indiana. The next upcoming filing deadline is for New York on Thursday.
West failed to submit any of the necessary 10,000 petition signatures needed to appear on the presidential ballot in South Carolina before the deadline, despite holding a campaign rally in the state the day before.
He made headlines for his bizarre, freewheeling speech where he claimed renowned abolitionist and activist Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people.”
The rapper said he has never voted in his life, but if he becomes president, he plans to run the White House in the image of Wakanda, the secret fictional African country in “Black Panther.”
“Let’s see if the appointing is at 2020 or if it’s 2024—because God appoints the president. If I win in 2020 then it was God’s appointment. If I win in 2024 then that was God’s appointment,” West told Forbes.