Home>Campaigns>It’s official: Kanye West is off the ballot in New Jersey

Kanye West. Photo by Mathieu Lebreton

It’s official: Kanye West is off the ballot in New Jersey

Secretary of State Tahesha Way tosses West after Salmon petition challenge

By David Wildstein, August 07 2020 5:26 pm

Kanye West has officially been removed from the New Jersey ballot as an independent candidate for President.

West had faced a challenge to his nomination petitions by election lawyer Scott Salmon, but Administrative Law Judge Gail Cookson cancelled a court hearing earlier this week after the West campaign indicated that they were withdrawing their petition.

Salmon alleged that West filed hundreds of faulty signatures that put him far below the number he needed to qualify for a spot on the New Jersey ballot, and claimed in court filings that several of the 14 electors filed by West were ineligible to serve.

West did not attempt to rectify problems with his petitions and provide circulator verifications.

Instead, the campaign emailed Cookson and court clerk Susan Rogers to say that they were ending their bid to gain a ballot spot in New jersey.

Cookson issued a decision granting Salmon’s motion to toss West’s petitions after the campaign indicated it was dropping their New Jersey campaign.

Secretary of State Tahesha Way said on Friday that West did not seek to challenge Cookson’s ruling and affirmed Cookson’s decision in her own ruling.

Way noted that West’s exit in New Jersey “had been widely reported,” but that the campaign never formally filed its  withdrawal with the state Division of Elections.

The Division of Elections emailed the West campaign saying they would accept West’s e-mail to Cookson and Rogers “as the withdrawal of candidacy unless we hear from you by 4 pm today, August 5, 2020.”

West never “acknowledged or responded to this email,” Way said in her order.

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