LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Rap mogul Kanye West will appear on the Kentucky presidential ballot in November, according to Secretary of State Michael Adams, who told WAVE 3 News he certified the 5,000 signatures required under state law.
West received around 19,000 signatures on the petition to appear on Kentucky’s ballot. Some people, however, said they were tricked into signing the petition.
University of Louisville student Savanna Stewart said she was on UofL’s campus with a friend when they were approached by a person who asked them to sign a petition. She claimed they lied about who the petition involved.
“A young man about our age approached us,” Stewart said, “And he says, ‘I have this petition to get this candidate on the ballot; he’s pretty unknown. This is his platform.’ It had to do with prison reform (and) felons' voting rights, which was something I was interested in.”
The “unknown” candidate turned out to be West, one of the biggest names in entertainment, but Stewart said she did not realize until after she signed the petition.
“I saw it right at the top (after I signed)," she said. “It was right underneath the clipboard part. He had hidden it away, and I saw it, and it said ‘Kanye West,’ and I was like, ‘Uh oh.’”
Stewart said she wasn’t the only person who claimed to feel tricked by the people asking for signatures. Another UofL student, Jaelyn Gray, said he was approached on his walk to work. He said he asked what the petition was for, and the person ignored him and complimented his hair instead. Gray said he was distracted and signed anyway, thinking it had something to do with the upcoming election.
“I was like, ‘Wait a minute, is that what I signed?’” Gray said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘No.’”
Adams told WAVE 3 News that many people have questioned the legality of West’s filing. He added that according to state law, a potential candidate only needs 5,000 certified signatures to qualify to appear on the ballot.
“Our laws are a little more forgiving than other states,” Adams said. “It’s easier to get on the ballot in Kentucky than in most other states, so that’s why Mr. West qualified for our ballot versus other states. It’s not because there’s necessarily anything nefarious about his filing.”
Stewart said she never would have signed the petition had she known what, or whom, it was about.
“I don’t personally support Kanye West as a candidate, or I wouldn’t,” Stewart said. “It’s just a little frustrating to me that I was lied to and now I’ve contributed to (him getting on the ballot).”
Adams said people have the right to challenge the filing if they believe the signatures are fraudulent. In that case, a court would then make a ruling.