AG Herring heading to court in attempt to remove Kanye West from Nov. ballot

Updated: Sep. 2, 2020 at 11:18 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Thursday, a Richmond judge will hear a request from Attorney General Mark Herring to have rapper Kanye West removed from the presidential ballot in Virginia. Herring accuses the West camp of acting fraudulently to get on the ballot, and now he’s hoping he can convince a judge of that.

It’s up to a Richmond circuit judge to decide if Herring has the power to strike Kanye West from appearing on the ballot. A decision will have to be made quickly as early voting kicks off in just a matter of weeks and ballots have to be printed.

As the race for president heats up, a familiar face is hoping to set aside his rap career in order to be the leader of the free world. Wednesday, Herring claimed some of the electors designated to support Kanye West now say they were tricked into doing it and he’s taking the matter to court.

“It’s a little odd,” said Henry Chambers, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “Remember that we don’t directly elect the president. We actually select the electors who will then go and vote for the president at the electoral college or at the in-state gathering that occurs after the election…If their argument is ‘I haven’t agreed to support Kanye West.’ If he happens to get the most votes, then you can understand why they have a problem being listed as an elector if they really haven’t taken the oath to support him.”

That’s because electors are expected to choose the candidate they said they would back after you vote.

“The Commonwealth of Virginia, including the state elections officials and entities named as Defendants, does not tolerate any type of election fraud. Similarly, this Court has had little patience for keeping candidates on the ballot who have used underhanded and fraudulent tactics to ‘steal a spot on the ballot,’” Herring said in a brief response.

Under state law, a candidate must have 13 electors pledge their support for a candidate as part of the criteria to appear on the ballot.

The lawsuit alleges that 11 of West’s 13 electors may be invalid and asks the court to block West’s name from appearing on ballots.

“If folks didn’t sign an elector oath knowing what they were signing, it’s entirely possible that the A.G. does have a case,” Chambers suggested.

He believes there would have never been this last-minute battle had the rapper’s camp chosen a more traditional path towards the presidency.

“They could’ve started quite a bit earlier and gotten the signatures they needed, done all the background work that we normally expect candidates, parties and folks to do. If you do all of that stuff, then really this doesn’t become an issue.”

Thursday’s case will be heard here at 2:30 p.m. in Richmond Circuit Court.

You can read Herring’s motion, HERE.

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