Kanye West Announces Presidential Bid - Do You Want to See Kanye On Your Ballot?
Do you want to see Kanye West as a candidate for president on your ballot in 2020?
by Causes | 7.6.20
What’s the story?
- On Independence Day, music & fashion mogul Kanye West announced that he is running for president in a tweet:
- West’s announcement earned a quick & important endorsement via a quote retweet from his wife, media personality & entrepreneur Kim Kardashian West.
- While the deadline for independent presidential candidates to get on the ballot has already passed in a number of states, the couple has significant financial resources they could commit to meeting petition requirements in other states that, while challenging, aren’t insurmountable with a sufficient organization. According to Forbes, Kanye West has a net worth of $1.3 billion while Kim Kardashian West has a net worth of $900 million.
- Fellow billionaire Elon Musk tweeted that West has his “full support” while another billionaire who considered then ruled out an independent bid, Mark Cuban, said an organization he supports that helps third party & independent candidates with ballot access issues would assist West if called upon.
When are the state ballot deadlines & what are the requirements?
- According to Ballot Access News, a tremendous resource maintained by Richard Winger, the deadline for an independent presidential candidate to petition for ballot access has already passed in several states, including Indiana, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and West’s home state of Illinois. (North Carolina’s independent petition deadline is the subject of litigation being adjudicated in court.)
- States with upcoming deadlines in July include Nevada (7/10 - 9,608 signatures), Delaware (7/15 - 7,118 signatures), Florida (7/15 - 132,781 signatures), Oklahoma (7/15 - $35,000 fee), South Carolina (7/15 - 10,000 signatures), Washington (7/25 - 1,000 signatures), Missouri (7/27 - 10,000 signatures), New Jersey (7/27 - 800 signatures), and Massachusetts (7/28 - 10,000 signatures).
- States with deadlines in early August include Arkansas (8/3 - 1,000 signatures), Kansas (8/3 - 5,000 signatures), Maine (8/3 - 10,000 signatures), Maryland (8/3 - 10,000 signatures), Nebraska (8/3 - 2,500 signatures), Pennsylvania (8/3 - 5,000 signatures), Vermont (8/3 - 1,000 signatures), West Virginia (8/3 - 7,145 signatures), South Dakota (8/4 - 3,393 signatures), Wisconsin (8/4 - 2,000 signatures), Alaska (8/5 - 3,212 signatures), Colorado (8/5 - $1,000 fee), Connecticut (8/5 - 7,500 signatures), District of Columbia (8/5 - estimated 5,000 signatures), Hawaii (8/5 - 4,347 signatures), New Hampshire (8/5 - 3,000 signatures), Ohio (8/5 - 5,000 signatures), and California (8/7 - 196,964 signatures).
- States with deadlines in mid- to late-August include Montana (8/12 - 5,000 signatures), Georgia (8/14 - 7,500 signatures), Iowa (8/14 - 1,500 signatures), Utah (8/17 - 1,000 signatures), Minnesota (8/18 - 2,000 signatures), Tennessee (8/18 - 275 signatures), Louisiana (8/21 - $500 fee), Idaho (8/24 - 1,000 signatures), Oregon (8/25 - 17,893 signatures), Wyoming (8/25 - 4,018 signatures), and North Dakota (8/31 - 4,000 signatures).
- States with deadlines in September include Arizona (9/4 - 37,769 signatures), Kentucky (9/4 - 5,000 signatures), Mississippi (9/4 - 1,000 signatures), and Rhode Island (9/4 - 1,000 signatures).
What about a write-in campaign?
- West could also choose to mount a write-in campaign in states where he isn’t on the ballot, although many states require write-in candidates to inform the state in advance and some have a petition threshold.
- While several Democratic & Republican presidential campaigns have relied on write-in campaigns to win primaries in specific states in the mid-20th Century, no successful presidential campaigns have relied heavily on write-in votes.
- However, there have been instances in which U.S. Senate elections were won by write-in candidates. In 1946, Sen. William Knowland (R-CA) won a special election for a two-month term in which all candidates were write-ins. In 1954, Strom Thurmond (D-SC) won a Senate seat on a write-in campaign after state Democratic leaders blocked him from obtaining the party’s nomination.
- The most recent example came in 2010, when incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) lost the Republican primary but defeated the Republican & Democratic challengers in the general election as a write-in candidate.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Jason Persse via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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