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Kanye West

Photo by Jason Persse/ CC BY-SA 2.0

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has tossed rapper Kanye West from the state's presidential ballot, saying in a 5-1 decision on Thursday that he missed the deadline by one minute and thus was disqualified, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

West's bid appeared to be an effort by Republicans to try to siphon voters from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — who is looking to win back the state after Trump carried it in 2016 by just over 20,000 votes.


A Republican source in Wisconsin told the Journal Sentinel that the plan was to get West to pull more than 100,000 votes from Biden.

A number of Republican officials in Wisconsin tied to Trump appeared to be helping West with his bid.

Lane Ruhland, a GOP election lawyer who represented the Trump campaign in a lawsuit, was the one who turned in West's ballot petition 1 minute after the 5 p.m. deadline — ultimately disqualifying him.

Ruhland's work for both Trump and West raised ethical concerns. The watchdog group Campaign for Accountability filed an ethics complaint with the Wisconsin Bar Association saying that her work for both Trump and West "appears to violate Ms. Ruhland's ethical obligations under Wisconsin Bar Rules to avoid representing parties where there is a conflict of interests between the parties."

Also helping West was Greg Keller, another GOP operative who worked on former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's failed presidential bid in 2016. And several of the people who signed up to be electors for West are either major Trump backers or GOP activists in the state.

West has also met with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, raising questions about how far the Trump campaign's involvement in his presidential bid goes.

Ultimately, West is not on enough state ballots to even come close to getting the 270 Electoral College votes needed for a win.

West has filed to be on the ballot in a handful of other states, including Colorado, Oklahoma, and Vermont.

West was also removed from the ballot this week in two other states, Illinois and Ohio. According to the Ohio secretary of state, West's signature and the information on his candidacy paperwork "did not match the documents actually used for petitions signed by voters," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

West also failed to qualify for the ballot in Montana on Thursday. The secretary of state's office there said that, of the 8,800 signatures turned in with his petition, only 3,972 were deemed valid, according to the Associated Press.

This article was updated to include the most recent information on West's ballot petitions in several other states.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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