Kanye West submits signatures to qualify for presidential ballot in Arizona




Kanye West performing at a 2013 concert. Photo by Peter Hutchins | Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Rap superstar Kanye West filed nearly 58,000 signatures with the Secretary of State’s Office, more than enough to get his name on the November ballot as an independent candidate for president of the United States.

The Secretary of State’s Office will review West’s petitions, and if he has at least 39,039 valid signatures, he’ll qualify for the ballot in the Nov. 3 election. 

Republican operatives have aided West’s presidential West’s campaign, including in Arizona, where he began collecting signatures two weeks ago. Democrats have accused Republicans of assisting West, formerly a high-profile supporter of President Donald Trump, in an attempt to siphon votes from Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

A Democratic lawsuit is attempting to keep West off the ballot in Arizona, alleging that state law doesn’t permit him to run as an independent because he’s registered as a Republican in Wyoming. A hearing in the case is set for Thursday afternoon. The deadline for election officials to send finalized ballots to the printers is Sept. 8, leaving the courts a short time frame to settle the matter.

It’s unclear who is funding West’s campaign efforts across the country, which has ostensibly spent millions of dollars to qualify for state ballots — both for signatures and on litigation. In Arizona, West’s campaign was reportedly paying $8 per signature. If that figure is correct, more than $460,000 was spent to get the rapper on the presidential ballot.

West hasn’t directly addressed whether outside funders are bankrolling his quixotic campaign, but he said this week on Nick Cannon’s podcast Cannon’s Class that he wasn’t acting on behalf of Republicans. ”

Bro, can’t nobody pay me,” he told Cannon. “I got more money than Trump.”

“I’m not running for president,” West also said. “I’m walking.”

West has filed signatures to qualify for the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Virginia. He failed to qualify for the ballot in Missouri, Montana, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

West has no chance of winning the presidency, having missed the deadline or having been denied access to the ballot in 34 states and Washington, D.C.

Jeremy Duda
Associate Editor Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”