Dave Mistich Published

West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office Rejects Kanye West’s Certificate Of Candidacy

Kanye West answers questions from Sr. pastor Joel Osteen during the 11 am service at Lakewood Church Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Houston.

This is a developing story and may be updated.


Rapper Kanye West will not be on the ballot in West Virginia in the race for president. 

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner’s office told West Virginia Public Broadcasting Friday that West’s third-party run did not gather enough qualifying signatures of voters to support his candidacy, despite turning in more than double the amount of needed signatures.

That news came shortly after West tweeted Friday, claiming that he had secured access to the ballot in a number of states, including West Virginia.

West needed qualifying 7,144 signatures in West Virginia — or one percent of the total number of votes cast in the state for the same office in the last election — to make his way onto the ballot. 

Secretary of State communications director Mike Queen said of the roughly 15,000 signatures West’s campaign turned in, only 13,865 were legible. 


Of those, only 6,383 were confirmed to be registered voters in West Virginia. 


Queen said there are three reasons that the gathered signatures did not qualify towards West’s candidacy. He said it could have been that they were not registered to vote in West Virginia, that their given address did not match voter registration records, or that the name was not registered to vote in any state. 


West’s campaign delivered the signatures to the Secretary of State’s office late on the night of Monday, Aug. 3 — just ahead of a deadline to submit the paperwork. 


Other states have also rejected West’s bid, including Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio. 


Del. Marshall Wilson, I-Berkeley, is attempting to run for governor as an independent and has filed a federal lawsuit arguing for additional time to collect needed signatures because of the ongoing pandemic. A hearing on the case will be held Monday, Aug. 24.


It is unclear if West will attempt to join Wilson’s lawsuit.


According to state law, the Secretary of State’s office must certify the ballot on Tuesday, Aug. 25.