Kanye West's presidential bid has been rolling since he made a sudden announcement last month that he intends to take the White House in the November elections. However, his campaign encountered some brand new setbacks this week.
At least two states, Illinois and New Jersey, have essentially thrown West's eligibility for his name to be included in the state ballots. It was after it was found that the majority of the signatures submitted as part of his petition were invalid.
In West's home state, Chicago's WTTW reported the rapper needed 2,500 signatures to appear on the Illinois ballot. A hearing officer, however, determined only 1,200 out of 3,218 signatures submitted were valid. West's petition submitted by his campaign team, with the aid of GOP officials in Wisconsin, was also challenged in the hearing.
In New Jersey, his campaign team withdrew Kanye's petition hours before the eligibility hearing after an election lawyer questioned hundreds of signatures that his team submitted. Elections attorney Scott Salmon said that, out of 1,327 signatures that were submitted, more than 700 raised suspicion because either they don't have last names, no municipality listed, or some signatures were of people who were not registered to vote or didn't live in New Jersey.
The New York Times, also, conducted an investigation and found there are some Republican activists helping Kanye West get on the November ballot. This includes Mark Jacoby, whose company Let the Voters Decide, has been collecting signatures in Ohio, West Virginia, and Arkansas.
Jacoby was arrested in 2008 while working for the Republican Party in California. He was arrested for voter-fraud charges and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
West's team has until August 21 to refute the determination regarding the invalid signatures submitted in Illinois. After that, the findings will be presented to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Wisconsin filed a complaint against Kim Kardashian's husband, citing fake signatures and late submission of his petition. Apparently, the complaint also contained affidavits from citizens who claimed they were conned into signing the rapper's petition.
Political analyst April Ryan tweeted two states have, so far, declared Kanye ineligible to be on their November ballots due to fake signatures. She sid this act could open an election-fraud investigation against the rapper.
For now, no official charges of voter-registration fraud have been filed against Kanye West or his campaign team. Reports noted that voter-registration fraud carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.