Aug. 21 (UPI) — Rapper Kanye West filed paperwork a couple minutes late and will not be listed on the presidential ballot in Wisconsin in November, election officials said.
The state’s bipartisan electoral commission voted 5-1 in ruling Thursday night that West’s lateness requires that he be left off the ballot.
The commission said he filed the required paperwork one or two minutes past the deadline on Aug. 4.
Lane Ruhland, a former general counsel for the Wisconsin Republican Party who’s also represented the Trump campaign, helped West submit his nomination papers. It was Ruhland who was minutes late getting documents with petition signatures to the commission.
“I regret it’s the case,” Republican Elections Commissioner Dean Knudson said. “I do not feel they filed timely.”
Election employee Cody Davies said he met Ruhland at the front door of the building just seconds after 5 p.m. When he checked his watch again in the elevator with Ruhland, it was nearly 5:01 p.m. He then said the filing would be late.
“When you’re late, you’re late,” Commissioner Julie Glancey said late Thursday. “We’ve knocked people off the ballot for being one signature short. If we are holding their feet to the fire on the number of signatures, we need to hold their feet to the fire on the time they file.”
West’s attorney Michael Curran argued that the rapper’s representatives had until 5:01 to file the papers and did so time.
Republican Robert Spindell, the lone commissioner who voted to approve West’s application, chided Democrats for challenging West’s nomination and that of a Black Green party candidate. He accused Democrats of intentionally keeping Black Americans off the presidential ballot to benefit Biden.
West has qualified to be on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont, but also missed the deadline in South Carolina. He said he will have to depend on voters writing in his name in the states where he doesn’t appear.
President Donald Trump won Wisconsin by a mere 22,000 votes in 2016 and some feared West’s appearance on the ballot could steal enough votes away from Democratic nominee Joe Biden to hand Trump re-election.