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Kanye West sues in Brown County to get on Wisconsin presidential ballot

Wisconsin Elections Commission staff found Kanye West had enough valid signatures to make the presidential ballot but missed the deadline to submit them.
Wisconsin Elections Commission staff found Kanye West had enough valid signatures to make the presidential ballot but missed the deadline to submit them.
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Rapper Kanye West filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission Friday in Brown County, arguing the state agency exceeded its authority when it rejected his presidential nomination papers.

The lawsuit was filed by West, his running mate Michelle Tidball and Hobart resident Fred Krumberger. Online records show it was assigned to Circuit Court Judge John Zakowski.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs say the Wisconsin Elections Commission “added an unconstitutional requirement” affecting the deadline for filing nomination papers. As we’ve reported, West’s attorneys argued unsuccessfully that the statute “not later than 5 p.m.” includes all of the seconds up to 5:01 P.M. and claims the paperwork was filed at 14 seconds at 5 o’clock on August 5 (see related story).

The lawsuit claims the elections commission further impeded the process “by not unlocking building doors after 4:30 p.m., knowing that a candidate needed immediate access when arriving immediately before the statutory deadline of ’not later than 5 p.m.’”

Krumberger, who lives in Brown County, is a presidential elector for West. The lawsuit says the commission’s decision causes injury by denying his right to cast support for West in the electoral college if West wins the popular vote in Wisconsin in November.

The lawsuit asks the court to grant a declaratory judgment putting West and Tidball on the ballot for November 3.

Elections staff said West had 422 more signatures than he required to get on the Wisconsin ballot but the elections commission rejected the paperwork on a 5-1 vote on August 20, arguing it was not filed in a timely manner.

Various news agencies report West is on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont. His petitions are being challenged in Iowa, and he has nomination papers pending in Virginia.

His campaign is reportedly working to get on the ballots in New York and West Virginia. He missed deadlines for California, Florida and Pennsylvania.

He failed to get on the ballot in Illinois, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and Wisconsin. Most of the states rejected his paperwork because he didn’t have enough valid signatures. West’s campaign filed a lawsuit in Ohio earlier this week alleging the Secretary of State’s decision didn’t follow state law.

Democrats allege that Republicans are pushing West’s candidacy in several states to siphon votes away from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Wisconsin is expected to be a key swing state in the race. President Donald Trump narrowly won the state in 2016, putting him over the top in the Electoral College.

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