Two challenges were filed late this afternoon to the nomination papers entertainer Kanye West filed to run for president in Wisconsin, each alleging that he failed to turn them in on time.
One of the challenges, filed by the state Dem Party, alleges the circulators West’s campaign deliberately misled electors on what they were signing, with one woman swearing in an affidavit the circulator told her it was a list of people who were registered to vote. She testified she wouldn’t have signed if she’d known its true purpose because she doesn’t support West and thinks “it’s a joke he’s running for president.”
Another signed an affidavit saying the circulator said it was a petition calling for more polling places.
“If these affidavits are true — and there’s no reason to believe they’re not — crimes were committed by the West campaign in the circulation of these nomination papers,” said attorney Michael Maistelman, who assisted the state party in collecting affidavits from some who said they were duped.
The challenges come as West has tried to get on the ballot in various states under The Birthday Party banner. Some believe it’s an attempt to siphon votes away from presumptive Dem nominee Joe Biden this fall, particular since a Wisconsin attorney who represented Donald Trump in a lawsuit against a Rhinelander TV station dropped off West’s nomination papers on Tuesday.
There was also a challenge filed to the Green Party candidate’s nomination papers, arguing signatures should be thrown out because an incorrect home address was listed for the vice presidential nominee.
Both challenges of West’s papers, the second of which was filed by a Milwaukee attorney, argue the entertainer’s campaign turned in the signatures after Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline. Video WISN-TV posted from outside the Elections Commission building Tuesday showed the person who dropped off the nomination papers walking through the doors after 5 p.m. The complaints argue it’s a hard deadline, and the nomination papers must be in the possession of commission staff by 5 p.m., not just in the building that houses the office.
The initial Elections Commission review of the nomination papers found West had filed 2,422 signatures, with 2,000 valid signatures needed to qualify. But the challenges listed numerous deficiencies with the papers West filed on Tuesday.
*circulators failed to properly list their home addresses on the nomination papers, invalidating the signatures listed on those sheets. The Dem Party complaint says 637 signatures should be struck for that reason.
*188 signers listed an address other than the one where they are registered to vote; 187 signatures didn’t include a legible printed name; 65 didn’t include the elector’s municipality; 47 failed to include a full date when they were signed.
*four signatures should be struck because they’re likely fake names; two signed as Kanye West, one as Bernie Sanders and one as Mickey Mouse.
*the address West listed in Wyoming on his nomination papers is a commercial property and failed to meet Wisconsin’s requirement for independent presidential candidates to list their residence and post office address.
See the Dem Party’s challenge.
See the other challenge.
See the challenge to the Green Party’s nomination papers.