PHOENIX – An Arizona resident has asked a judge to bar Kanye West from appearing on the state's Nov. 3 ballot, accusing the hip hop artist of serving as an election spoiler and arguing that a law prohibits him from running in the state as an independent presidential candidate.
West's lawyer on Wednesday reported filing just under 58,000 signatures, well over the roughly 39,000 required for independent candidates to make the ballot.
Lawyers for resident Rasean Clayton said in a lawsuit filed Monday that independent presidential candidates can appear on Arizona’s ballot if they aren’t registered with a recognized political party and gather enough voter signatures to nominate them. But Clayton’s lawyers say West, who paid top dollar to dozens of workers gathering petition signatures in Arizona, isn’t qualified to be on the ballot because he’s a registered Republican.
Even if West is found to have submitted enough signatures, the lawsuit said the hip hop artist’s late-in-the-game candidacy would make no difference to his chances of winning the race.
“West will not be able to qualify for the ballot in enough states to muster enough electoral votes to prevail,” Clayton’s lawyers wrote. “West’s minimal interest in playing a spoiler candidate on Arizona’s ballot is not enough to outweigh the factors favoring emergency relief.”
West has already qualified to appear on the ballot in several states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee and Utah.
The rapper and music producer announced his intention to run for president on July 4.
A Maricopa County judge is scheduled to hear arguments in the legal challenge on Thursday afternoon.