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Ohio Secretary Of State Defends Keeping Kanye West Off Presidential Ballot

Kanye West has filed a petition to run for president in Ohio.
Michael Wyke
Associated Press

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says his reasons for rejecting Kanye West's bid to be a presidential candidate on the November ballot were clear. The state's top elections official says the paperwork for the petitions was filled out wrong.

The billionaire rapper has filed a challenge in the Ohio Supreme Court arguing LaRose did not follow state elections law when he rejected West's petition. A lawyer for West submitted 15,000 signatures on his behalf last month.

LaRose says he denied West's presidential petition because of discrepancies in the submitted paperwork and the actual petitions that were circulated. LaRose says if someone wants to run for president, they have to fill out the paperwork correctly.

"Legally, there was no way as Secretary of State that I could look at this form, filled out incorrectly, and say 'OK, we can put you on the ballot,'" LaRose says.

The organizing behind West's campaign has been accused of fraud as a means to indirectly help President Donald Trump by attracting votes away from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

West and his vice presidential candidate Michelle Tidball have qualified for the ballot in Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, Idaho, Oklahoma and Utah, while getting disqualified in Missouri, Wisconsin, West Virginia and several other states.