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Kanye West files to appear on ballot in Louisiana

2 months 6 days 5 hours ago Saturday, August 22 2020 Aug 22, 2020 August 22, 2020 5:56 PM August 22, 2020 in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Rapper Kanye West has filed paperwork to appear on the presidential ballot in Louisiana in November.

West’s filing Friday, just ahead of the deadline, lists himself as a candidate for “The Birthday Party” along with vice presidential running mate, Michelle Tidball, The Advocate reported. Including West, at least 11 third-party or independent presidential candidates filed to appear on the Louisiana ballot by Friday’s 4:30 p.m. deadline.

The rapper announced his independent bid last month in a tweet on Independence Day after publicly tossing around the idea for years. His campaign submitted papers to the Federal Election Commission to run less than two weeks later. But West’s campaign has struggled to meet deadlines to make it onto the ballot in several other states, including Wisconsin. Filing deadlines in six states had already passed by the time West announced his bid.

Louisiana officials did not immediately review the filing. Unlike other states, Louisiana does not require independent candidates to obtain thousands of signatures on a nominating petition to appear on the ballot. A candidate may instead pay a $500 filing fee.

The Advocate reported that a phone call to the number listed on the filing went unanswered. West’s filing listed a post office box in Cody, Wyoming, as the campaign’s address. Tidball, a self-described “biblical life coach,” is from Wyoming, and West owns a mansion and 1,400-acre ranch in the state.

West’s request to appear on the ballot includes a list of eight Louisiana residents who’d serve as would-be electors at the electoral college were the rapper to win the presidential vote in the state. None appeared to have an active history in Louisiana politics. Six of them were listed as Republicans; the other two listed themselves as unaffiliated with any party, the newspaper reported.

In other states, Republican operatives and vocal supporters of President Donald Trump have worked to boost West’s candidacy and secure his spot on the ballot. Critics contend West’s last-minute run — and the apparent GOP support it’s received — is a ploy to swipe votes from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, especially in key swing states. Trump carried Louisiana in the 2016 election by nearly 20 percentage points.

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