Kanye West reportedly missed the deadline to appear on the presidential ballot in South Carolina after failing to submit the necessary petition signatures.
According to Chris Whitmore, Director of Public Information for the South Carolina State Election Commission, West's committee never delivered the petition to the S.C. Election Commission, despite running ads on social media targeting voter signatures and having members of the team acquiring signatures around the Charleston area.
Going forward, the only way for Kanye to appear on the ballot in South Carolina would be to receive the presidential nomination from one of the 10 certified political parties in the state. He is currently running under the self-created “Birthday Party.”
News of West's failure to meet the deadline in South Carolina comes after the rapper/designer held an eye-opening rally in North Charleston where he discussed abortion, the dangers of addiction, and the lack of diversity among large corporations. He also proclaimed that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves.”
Kanye did, however, manage to get on the ballot in Oklahoma after submitting a $35,000 filing fee.
On July 15, a man by the name of Andre Bodiford filed a Statement of Organization form with the Federal Election Commission, establishing West as the BDY (Birthday) Party candidate for the upcoming election. According to the Oklahoma State Election Board, Kanye has qualified for the General Election ballot in Oklahoma after meeting Wednesday's deadline for independent presidential candidates to file statements of candidacy.
West followed the Statement of Organization with a Statement of Candidacy, then paying the $35,000 filing fee to run as an independent candidate, a representative for the rapper told People. This mean's Kanye will be on Oklahoma's general election ballot.
The Statement of Candidacy form — seen here — includes the same information as the Statement of Organization form that was submitted to the FEC, listing the address to West's Cody, Wyoming ranch.
News of Kanye's filing for candidacy in Oklahoma comes days after reports suggested he would not participate in the upcoming presidential election. This was according to Steve Kramer, a member of West's campaign team, who told Intelligencer that "he's out."
Kramer did not specify West’s reasons for allegedly dropping out, but said he’d “let [Intelligencer] know what I know once I get all our stuff cancelled.” The move comes after Kanye began the process of having his name included on the ballots for Florida and other states as a third-party candidate.
Intelligencer reports that Kramer had been approached about helping West gather the signatures needed to make the ballot in the state by the July 15 deadline. In order to qualify for the ballot, West would need to gather 132,781 valid signatures from Florida voters in less than a week. Initially, Kramer claimed that “we had overwhelming support to get him on the ballot.”
It's unclear what has happened since and why Kanye has pulled out of the race, however, the deadline to get on the ballot has now passed. The rapper seemingly confirmed he was no longer running aproximately an hour after the publication spoke with Kramer, posting a video to Twitter of him registering to vote with the text: "I thank God and I am so humbled at the opportunity to serve. Vote. "
Earlier this month, the music-clothing magnate took to Twitter to issue the Internet-shattering statement: his bid for the 2020 presidential race. Ye made the announcement on the Fourth of July, tweeting: "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States," along with the hashtag #2020VISION.
The announcement was quickly endorsed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who replied with "You have my full support!"
Following an interview between Kanye and Forbes where West briefly discussed his political campaign, Musk appeared to reassess his position. When a Twitter user pointed to West's anti-abortion and anti-vaccination comments from the interview, Musk indicated he may be rethinking his endorsement. "We may have more differences of opinion than I anticipated," he wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
While detailing his presidential campaign, West named Elon Musk as one of his trusted advisors, further magnifying the uncertainty surrounding Musk's initial endorsement. In a new interview with Page Six, however, the Tesla CEO revealed he still backs Kanye for president.
"Kanye explained afterward some of the reasoning behind why he said what he said," Musk told the publication, adding that it now "makes more sense than many people, including me, realized."
While he still endorsed West for president, Musk felt the hip-hop superstar should wait until the following election. "I think 2024 would be better than 2020," he said.
Even though Kanye is no longer running, this doesn't mean he won't try again in four years. 2020 is not the first time the rapper has said he has eyes on the White House. Back in 2015, at the MTV VMA Awards West said he would launch a Presidential race for 2020 and again, just last November the Jesus Is King star asserted that he would be running in 2024. Whether or not Ye will truly realize his dreams of running for president await to be seen.
Following Ye's announcement, many on Twitter had mixed feelings on West’s potential entry into the 2020 Presidential Election. Check out some reactions below.