False Signatures Leave Kanye West At Risk Of Not Making Wisconsin Ballot After Failure To Qualify In Illinois

A new complaint filed by the Wisconsin Democratic Party may remove rapper Kanye West from the ballot in the Badger State.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin Democrats filed the complaint against West on Friday, citing lateness in submitting the signatures as well as fake signatures including names like "Mickey Mouse" and "Bernie Sanders." In affidavits obtained by lawyer Michael Maistelman, others said that the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy rapper conned them into signing the paperwork.

"If the affidavits are true ... crimes were committed by the West campaign," Maistelman told the Journal Sentinel. Newsweek reached out to Maistelman for comment, and he forwarded the request to a Wisconsin Democratic Party official.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, a woman in the complaint said that someone approached her in a parking lot to ask if she'd registered to vote. When she said she had, the person asked her to sign a document confirming she was registered. The woman said that had she known that it was to get West on the ballot, she would not have signed it.

A board made up of an equal amount of Democrats and Republicans will decide whether West qualifies for the ballot in Wisconsin. On Thursday, the Journal Sentinel reported that attorney Lane Ruhland, who has been helping West on his campaign, arrived at the state's Elections Commissions office after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, past the deadline to file nomination papers.

The complaint against West comes after the rapper fell short on the number of required signatures to appear in his home state Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, almost 2,000 of the 3,218 signatures that he submitted to the state election board were not valid. The state requires 2,500 signatures to get on the ballot, and 1,928 of the signatures that West submitted were labeled invalid. The Tribune said that the signatures can be validated with arguments and proof that they are legitimate.

This isn't the first time that West's campaign ran into issues with people pledging their votes. As previously reported, six of the 18 people that West listed to vote for him in the Electoral College should he receive votes in Ohio were all listed at the same address in Cleveland.

The Wisconsin Democrats, the Wisconsin Elections Commission, did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication, nor did West's publicist and Universal Music Group, who owns both Kanye West's label Def Jam. The email listed on West's FEC filing also did not respond to request for comment in time for publication.

Kanye West
Kanye West attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. A complaint was filed against West's presidential campaign by Wisconsin Democrats. Getty/Rich Fury/VF20