Kanye West will not be on Virginia presidential ballot, judge orders

Politics

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond judge has ordered the Virginia State Board of Elections to not print Kanye West’s name on the November presidential ballot, saying 11 of the 13 required Elector Oaths obtained by his campaign were improper, fraudulent, or misleading.

The news comes after Attorney General Mark Herring filed a motion for an emergency hearing in a lawsuit seeking to block the rapper from being added to November’s election ballot.

The Associated Press reported that the lawsuit was filed by, Perkins Coie, a law firm with ties to prominent Democrats, on behalf of two people who say they were tricked into signing an “Elector Oath” backing West’s candidacy.

In Virginia, to qualify as an independent candidate for president, the candidate must file petitions with 5,000 signatures of registered voters — 200 from each congressional district. In those petitions must be 13 electors who wear an oath that, if elected, they will vote for the candidates for president and vice president.

Additionally, Virginia law requires that the oath of the electors be “subscribed and notarized” by a registered notary.  The notary must fill out a part of the oath form.

In court Thursday, one of the plaintiffs, Matthan Wilson, spoke via Zoom. He said he was approached by three people in August who asked him if he wanted to sign up to become a potential elector in Virginia. According to Wilson, the trio did not identify themselves as being associated with the Kanye West campaign. Moreover, the document that was signed did not have West’s name.

Justin Sheldon, of Breit Cantor, a firm representing the plaintiffs said in court: “There is evidence that their signatures were obtained by being told they were doing one thing and their signatures were being used for another purpose. And so their testimony was that if they were actually told what they were going to be used for they definitely would not have been signing these pieces of paper.”

An attorney for the 2020 Kanye West campaign was also present in court Thursday. 8News learned that the attorney urged the judge to delay the hearing to allow for more time to gather witnesses – and possibly have West appear himself.  

The commonwealth says there is no more time, however, because registrars need to start need to begin printing absentee ballots.

Stay with 8News for updates.

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