On a 5-1 vote Thursday, the state Elections Commission ruled that rapper Kanye West’s nomination papers to get on the November ballot in Wisconsin were filed too late, to meet the deadline on August 4.
“We all know, it’s undisputed, that no one made it in the building ’til after 5:00.” said Democratic commissioner Mark Thomsen of Milwaukee. “We know that it’s after 5:00, we just don’t know how late after 5:00.”
Bob Spindell, Republican commissioner from Milwaukee, argued the papers were turned in close enough to the August 4th 5:00 PM deadline. He also made this argument: “Mr. West is an African-American candidate, and I think we should do all we can, after the terrible treatment that the black population received during the April election, that we give them a choice.”
The rest of the commission, including Hudson Republican Dean Knudson, voted to reject the signatures. “While I regret that it’s the case, I do not feel like they filed timely.” Knudson said. The commission is made up three Republican and three Democratic appointees.
Commissioners also learned that the more than 2400 signatures on those papers were gathered in some haste. Attorney Jeff Mandell represents the state Democratic Party.
“Every single signature that was submitted was gathered on August 3rd or August 4th” Mandell told the commission. “The deadline was August 4th. There’s not a single signature that was submitted to the commission, that I am aware of, that was dated prior to Monday, August 3rd.”
The West campaign could still challenge the decision in court. Republicans have assisted the rapper’s efforts to get on the November ballot in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
West has been a supporter of President Donald Trump, and has admitted that his candidacy is aimed at peeling off votes from Democrat Joe Biden.