Politics

Kanye West files to get on Colorado ballot as presidential candidate

Rapper Kanye West filed as a presidential candidate for Colorado’s November ballot on Wednesday after his campaign enlisted help from a local Republican operative.

Betsy Hart, a spokesperson for the Colorado secretary of state’s office, confirmed just before 1:30 p.m. that West’s campaign had submitted the paperwork electronically, ahead of a mid-afternoon deadline.

“Our office will still need to review that the presidential electors filed are registered Colorado voters before his paperwork is confirmed as complete,” Hart wrote in an email.

Colorado is among several states where West’s nascent campaign has enlisted help from Republican operatives to get on the ballot, spurring speculation that he’s seen as a potential spoiler in President Donald Trump’s reelection fight against Democrat Joe Biden. West has supported Trump, but more recently he split from the president, announcing last month that he planned to run for the office himself.

Rachel George reached out to another Colorado GOP strategist this week to ask that person to sign a form as an elector for West, Vice News reported. George was a former communications director to then-U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (now a senator) and has worked for other Republican elected officials; she did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I have the most random favor to ask of you ever,” George wrote in an email to the other strategist, according to Vice News. “Would you help me get Kanye West on the ballot in Colorado? No, I am not joking, and I realize this is hilarious.”

Unlike some states, Colorado has a low bar to qualify for the ballot as an independent presidential candidate. All it takes is a $1,000 filing fee; notarized statements of intent to run from both the presidential candidate and vice presidential running-mate; and signatures from nine electors who must be registered voters in Colorado — the slate that George appeared to be helping to recruit.

The filing deadline was 3 p.m. Wednesday.

West has missed several states’ ballot qualification deadlines, and he faces several this week — including in California, which requires nearly 200,000 valid signatures from voters, a much higher bar.

If West doesn’t make California’s ballot, however, it would be mathematically impossible for him to contend for a majority of Electoral College votes in November, Forbes reported.

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