Independent presidential candidate Kanye West has withdrawn his bid to be on the general election ballot in New Jersey, one week after attorney Scott Salmon filed an objection to his nominating petitions.
West’s bid to get on the ballot was set to he heard by Administrative Law Judge Gail M. Cookson today, but the West campaign said late last night that the entertainer was withdrawing from the New Jersey race.
Salmon, an election law attorney who practices at Jardim, Meisner & Susser, had claimed West failed to file enough qualified electors – some were not registered voters and others were too young to serve – and that nominating petitions filed last week contained illegitimate signatures.
In a letter, the Kanye 2020 campaign said it “is not challenging the Secretary of State’s decision that it cannot certify the petition.”
West’s campaign was not planning to contest a move by Salmon to have the singer and entertainer removed from the ballot and had decided to not to send an attorney to today’s hearing.
“I determined to hear the petitioner’s motion to dismiss made on the threshold issue of the candidate’s failure to perfect his petition with the circulator verifications, which issue was specifically transmitted by the Division of Elections for my consideration,” Cookson said in her ruling.
“Applying the statutory standard to the undisputed facts of this case, it is clear that West did not comply with the basic requirements of New Jersey’s election law framework because there was never a timely submittal of the circulator verifications,” Cookson said.
Cookson said that the West campaign “acknowledged that he had not submitted the required circulator verifications and that the Division could not certify the nominating petitions. ”
“(West) has failed to perfect his petition to have his electors placed on the general election ballot in the State of New Jersey to nominate him for the office of the President of the United States of America,” the judge said.
New Jersey requires 800 signatures of registered voters to get on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate. Only Tennessee requires less.
Cookson ruling on Kanye West for President 4 Aug 2020
This story was updated at 12:39 PM.