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Kanye West's nomination papers challenged in Wisconsin

Kanye West's nomination papers challenged in Wisconsin


Rapper Kanye West’s attempt to get on Wisconsin’s presidential ballot as a third-party candidate is being challenged.

One challenge filed Friday with the Wisconsin Election Commission alleges that West’s nomination papers were delivered too late and don’t properly list his residency. The complaint states the address listed as his residence is classified as a “commercial” property.

Another challenge raises issues including illegible signatures and also the late delivery of the nomination papers, which were due by 5 p.m. Tuesday. It also includes affidavits from several individuals who said they signed West’s nomination paper not knowing what they were signing and that they do not support West’s candidacy.

One woman, Cherrel Pernell, said in a sworn statement she was approached in a Milwaukee Walmart parking lot by a woman who asked her if she was registered to vote. When she said she was, the woman told her it was OK to put down her name so they knew she had already registered. Pernell said she couldn’t see the top of the form.

“Then yesterday, August 6, I got a call telling me what I actually signed was papers to get Kanye West on the ballot,” Pernell wrote. “If I had known that, I wouldn’t have signed the papers, absolutely not. Kanye West would not get my vote and I think it’s a joke that he’s running for president.”

The first challenge was filed by Joseph R. Santeler. Filing papers didn’t include further identifying information. The other came from several people identifying themselves as Wisconsin voters.

Lane Ruhland, a former general counsel for the Wisconsin Republican Party who dropped off West’s nomination papers this week shortly after 5 p.m., didn’t immediately return a voicemail message on Friday.

Ruhland is currently representing President Donald Trump’s campaign in a lawsuit against a Rhinelander broadcaster over a negative ad from Democratic-backed Priorities USA.

Further, several of the 10 electors, who pledge to vote for West in the Electoral College if he were to win Wisconsin, are supporters of Trump or lower-level Republican Party activists, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review of their social media accounts.

In other states, at least two individuals associated with West’s campaign also have ties to the Republican Party, media reports showed. That includes one of West’s electors in Vermont, who’s also a delegate to the Republican National Convention, and a prominent GOP operative who listed himself as the West campaign’s point of contact in an Arkansas filing.

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 Nov. 3 election after Trump narrowly won the state in 2016.

West has also mounted efforts to get on the ballot in Ohio, Arkansas and West Virginia, among others. But he has missed deadlines in at least 10 states, Newsweek reported, including New York, Texas and Nebraska.

Trump sought to put some breathing room between himself and West on Wednesday, claiming he’s completely in the dark on Republican efforts to help the rapper get on November’s general election ballot.

“Kim Kardashian, she’s got a good heart, a very good heart, and I like Kanye very much,” Trump said, referring to West’s wife, “but I have nothing to do with him getting on the ballot.”

Learn about the candidates running in today's partisan primary

The Wisconsin State Journal asked area candidates in the Aug. 11 partisan primary why they deserve your vote. Read their responses.

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