MILWAUKEE — A Federal judge is upholding the decision of Wisconsin’s election authority, keeping rapper Kanye West off the ballot.
In a hearing Friday night, Judge John Zakowski made a ruling in favor of the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC), putting a final nail in the coffin for West’s quest to make it on the ballot for President.
West campaign would turn in petitions 14 seconds too late
West filed the lawsuit against the WEC over their previous action to bar him from the ballot. The WEC decision was made over the fact that nomination papers were turned in 14 seconds after the 5 p.m. deadline on August 4, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Zakowski would agree with this assessment in his ruling.
“The court believes at the time a grandfather clock rings out five times is the moment it is 5 p.m. Any time after that is precisely that: after 5 p.m. The court used the analogy of midnight. There is a significant difference between 11:59:59 p.m. and one second after midnight. The passage of a second after midnight confers an entirely new day.”
West counsel argues that they had until 5:01 to file; state law and Administrative Code states otherwise
The legal counsel for West’s campaign did argue that they had until 5:01 p.m. to file. Counsel further claims that WEC staff did interfere in the delivery of their petitions by locking the doors prior to 5 p.m..
However, pursuant to state law and Wisconsin Administrative Code guidelines, 5 p.m. is the hard deadline for papers to be in “physical possession” by the WEC. This appears to mean anything that was turned in afterward is ineligible.
“The unfortunate fact is this dispute could have been avoided had the West representatives simply arrived earlier,” Zakowski would conclude in the ruling.
Zakowski would also that that the court was aware that the signature-gathering was all done in roughly two days. He would further affirm that West campaign counsel Lane Ruhland knew of the statute requirements, having “been in contact with the Commission that day.”
Ballot access in 12 states
Variety reports that West announced his candidacy in July. West has failed to meet statutory requirements for ballot access in many states. The main contributors are lack of signatures and failure to meet filing deadlines. As of press time, West is on the ballot in 12 states.
West, a prior vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, is causing many Democrats to accuse his campaign of attempting to take votes away from Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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