Rapper Kanye West Files for Presidential Bid in Wyoming; Petitioners Flout Campaign Law
Rap star and Cody, Wyo., resident Kanye West has expanded his presidential campaign as an independent candidate by filing the candidate petition paperwork with the Wyoming Secretary of State late Monday.
However, some of those working on his behalf have been violating the law that prohibits electioneering -- in this case gathering signatures for petitions -- within 100 yards of a polling place, Secretary of State spokesman Will DInneen said Tuesday.
West and his campaign filed the request to circulate petitions to get him on the presidential ballot in the general election on Nov. 3, Dinneen said.
He also has filed to run in other states. Arkansas, Utah, Colorado and Oklahoma have qualified him as a candidate. Massachusetts and New Jersey have not.
But the petition drive apparently has gotten off to a bad start, because they've been doing that illegally within 100 yards of polling places during Tuesday's primary including the Industrial Building at the Natrona County Fairgrounds and Restoration Church, 411 S. Walsh Drive.
"We have heard reports about petition gatherers gathering signatures for that same presidential campaign near polling locations in Laramie County and now Natrona County," Dinneen said.
"Certainly, the law says what the law says, and there are restrictions for electioneering within certain distances around polling places," Dinneen said. "It's up to election judges, county clerks and the Secretary of State's Office to enforce the law."
According to the Wyoming Petition for Nomination of President of the United States from the Secretary of State, a candidate for a federal office needs 2% of the total number of votes cast for U.S. Representative in Congress in the last general election.
According to that formula, West's campaign must gather at least 4,025 valid signatures for him to qualify as a candidate. Petition signers must be registered to vote, give their full legal names, and give their residential address.
Petition circulators must complete the "verification by circulator" portion of each petition after gathering signatures.
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