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Kanye West appeals ruling to keep him off Virginia's ballot this November

Election-2020 Kanye West-Virginia
Posted at 12:24 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 18:29:41-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Kanye West filed an appeal Tuesday with the Virginia Supreme Court to overturn a ruling to keep him off Virginia presidential ballots.

Richmond Circuit Court Judge Joi Taylor issued an order Thursday saying West was disqualified because he had failed to meet the requirement that 13 people in the state pledge support for his campaign.

A law firm with ties to prominent Democrats filed a lawsuit attempting to keep the rapper off Virginia presidential ballots.

Attorneys for Perkins Coie filed the lawsuit in Richmond on behalf of two people who say they were tricked into signing an “Elector Oath” backing West’s candidacy.

The West campaign submitted 13 such "Elector Oaths," but the judge declared 11 of them invalid. She also found "that the notice of qualification issued by the Department of Elections to Kanye West...is contrary to Virginia law, and is therefore, invalid."

In response, West has filed an appeal and hired two new lawyers with BakerHostetler, Trevor Stanley and Mark Braden.

"Both lawyers have extensive ties to the Republican Party and represented the Republican Party of Virginia when they opposed suspending the witness requirement for the June primaries earlier this spring," said Office of the Attorney General Press Secretary Charlotte P.L. Gomer in a release.

West has also filed a motion for expedited consideration as last Friday, September 4 was the state's ballot printing deadline.

In a statement, Gregg Keller, Senior Strategist for KANYE 2020, criticized Attorney General Mark Herring for supporting the move to remove West’s name from the ballot.

“Considering the revelations of February 2019 regarding Mr. Herring’s past behavior, he should never have involved himself in any effort to deny a place on the ballot to Mr. West, the only Black man who qualified,” Keller said. “KANYE 2020 met the requirements to be on the Virginia ballot. To be thrown off at the behest of a Democrat-linked attorney and a Democrat Attorney General is an affront to the thousands of voters who signed our petitions and to the voters of Virginia."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.