Rapper Kanye West has sued the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) in order to get his name on the ballot in the swing state, which was instrumental in Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. Last week, the commission voted 5-1 to keep West’s name off the ballot, saying the musician’s team had submitted petitions in favour of his candidacy after a 5 p.m. deadline. Members of the commission, which consists of three Democrats and three Republicans, said that papers filed even one second after the deadline should not be accepted.
West’s lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, filed on 28 August, says his team submitted the papers right on time and claims that the deadline expires at 5:01 p.m. West's attorney Lane Ruhland previously argued that he arrived at the election office just "seconds" after 5 p.m.
West, a former supporter of President Donald Trump, has been criticised by the Democrats for his participation in the upcoming elections. They claim the rapper is Trump’s proxy and wants to take African-American votes from Joe Biden, Trump’s rival. The artist himself recently said he doesn’t deny that his campaign could damage Biden’s chances to defeat Trump.
The WEC’s decision to keep West’s name off the ballot has been criticised by Republicans. Mark Jefferson, the executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, accused the left of attempting to clear "any liberal competition for Democrats".
According to TMZ, the musician himself has claimed that the Democrats are spying on his campaign, which the musician claimed is part of an "organized effort of harassment and intimidation" against his candidacy.
West has missed getting his name on the ballot in many states due to his late announcement to run for the presidency. He has secured a spot on the ballot in six states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Vermont. Last week, he paid a $500 registration fee to appear in Louisiana. His application has not been considered yet.
But he was kicked off the ballot in his home state of Illinois, where the election office claimed that West had collected only 1,200 valid signatures of the 3,128 his team submitted.