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Maryland says Kanye West qualifies as a write-in presidential candidate

Maryland says Kanye West qualifies as a write-in presidential candidate
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Maryland State Board of Elections officials on Wednesday said that rapper and independent presidential candidate Kanye WestKanye Omari WestAfter fleeing Trump, will celebs return to DC under Biden? Amazon's shutdown of Parler is a threat to all small businesses 2020's top political celebrity moments MORE has qualified as a write-in candidate in the state less than three weeks before Election Day.

The Washington Post reported that election officials confirmed West’s name will not appear on official or sample ballots, but any write-in votes for him will be tabulated and included in final election results.

Jared DeMarinis, director of candidacy and campaign finance for the Maryland Board of Elections, told the Post that officials found no issues with West’s affidavit requesting to be a write-in candidate.

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West, who launched his quixotic presidential bid earlier this year, has been a vocal supporter of President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE, leading many to believe that the entrepreneur’s campaign is part of an effort to turn away Black voters from Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE.

However, recent political polling shows Biden with an overwhelming lead over Trump in Maryland. FiveThirtyEight’s latest data show Biden ahead of Trump by 33 percentage points, with CNN reporting a similar advantage of approximately 31 points.

West qualifying in Maryland comes after he released his first political ad on Monday calling for voters to write him in on their ballots.

"We as a people will revive our nation's commitment to faith," the rapper says in the ad as he stands in front of an image of the American flag. "By turning to faith, we will be the kind of nation, the kind of people, God intends us to be.”

According to Federal Election Commission data, West had spent at least $6 million of his own money to fund his campaign since he launched his bid in July.

West has led efforts to appear on election ballots in several states, with the Supreme Court of Virginia ruling last month that he could not be placed on the state’s general election ballot, arguing that 11 of West’s 13 electors were invalid and obtained by improper or fraudulent means.

Several other states, including Ohio and Arizona, have also rejected West’s bid to appear on presidential ballots, although the Mississippi Board of Election Commissioners announced last month that it would include West’s name on its ballots.