That the rap-star-turned-political-gadfly wasn’t able to gather enough signatures in Illinois is a stumble on the part of his campaign given a federal judge had reduced the number of signatures that are usually required to get on the state’s ballot. To make up for the fact that Covid-19 restrictions made it difficult for independent presidential candidates to collect the usual 25,000 signatures, a federal judge in Illinois had cut the number needed to qualify down to 2,500.
But the Illinois Election Board affirmed a staff report that West had only collected 1,200 valid signatures.
The decision comes a day after the battleground state of Wisconsin ruled the rapper’s attorneys submitted petition signatures in that state too late to get on the ballot. Election officials debated what “late” means for two-and-a-half hours before ultimately voting against West, 5-1. West’s campaign attorney arrived at the election commission offices at 5:00:14, according to elections officials. State law says that the filing needs to be made “not later” than 5 p.m.
So far, West has qualified to be on the ballot in Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont and has said he plans to push a write-in effort in states where he didn’t make the ballot.
Illinois is a solidly blue state and wasn’t likely to tip the scales of the presidential race, but for sentimental reasons West would have wanted to appear on the state’s ballot given he grew up in the Chicago area and his late mother was an educator there.