Rapper Kanye West will not appear as a presidential candidate on West Virginia’s ballot in November following a federal judge’s ruling Monday.
U.S. District Judge Irene Berger denied West’s motion for an injunction against Secretary of State Mac Warner, saying West’s campaign started too late to be affected by Gov. Jim Justice’s stay-at-home order.
She also said while West turned in petitions supporting his candidacy on Aug. 3, the day the petitions were due to the Secretary of State, by pressing up against the deadline, his campaign essentially denied itself adequate time to remedy any issues that came up with the petitions.
West initially submitted petitions that had more than 14,000 signatures, mostly from Kanawha and Monongalia counties, but county clerks throughout the state declared more than half of the signatures were invalid. West’s campaign was notified on Aug. 21.
By law, county clerks throughout the state conducted drawings to determine ballot position on Aug. 25 in order to have ballots printed in time to begin mailing them beginning Sept. 18 to voters who requested to vote absentee-by-mail.
In West Virginia, a person with no party affiliation must submit a number of valid signatures that is equal to 1% of the number of people who voted in the last election for that office.
In West Virginia 714,400 people voted for president in 2016, meaning West, or any other Independent candidate, needed 7,144 valid signatures to establish themselves as a presidential candidate in the state.
West filed a lawsuit against Warner on Sept. 4. In the lawsuit, West claimed the Secretary of State’s Office didn’t notify him in a timely fashion that he didn’t have enough valid signatures. West also said there were challenges collecting the signatures due to Justice’s stay-at-home order.
The stay-at-home order was in effect from March 24 until May 4. West announced his candidacy for president in a tweet on July 4.
As of Aug. 22, The Hill reported West would appear on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont.