News & Politics

Kanye West Removed From Virginia Ballot by Judge

The rapper's struggling presidential campaign hits another snag

West in New York City, 2011. Photograph by Flickr user Jason Persse.

Kanye West was recently spotted eating lunch in the Eastern Shore, but one place people will not be seeing him: on a Virginia ballot this November. Richmond Circuit Court Judge Joi Jeter Taylor has instructed officials to scrub the candidate from the state’s presidential ballot.

Viriginia requires a candidate to acquire 13 Electoral Oaths to get on the ballot—notarized commitments from voters pledging support of the candidate—as well as 5,000 petition signatures. West’s campaign submitted the required information, but the judge found that 11 out of the 13 pledges “were obtained by improper, fraudulent and/or misleading means or are otherwise invalid because of notarial violations and misconduct.” As a result, officials have been instructed to boot West from the ballot.

The Washington Post recently reported on some of the tactics allegedly used by the West campaign. One Elector said he hadn’t been aware that he was signing up specifically to support West.

“I am so embarrassed,” said Matthan Wilson, a 53-year-old high school government teacher from Suffolk who submitted one of the affidavits. “I don’t want to be an elector for Kanye West. I don’t want to vote for Kanye West. I only like one or two of his songs.”

Wilson is one of two Electors who sued to block West from appearing on the ballot, resulting in the judge’s order.

If West plans to fight the decision, there isn’t much time to sort it all out: The deadline to mail absentee ballots in Virginia is Saturday, September 19.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.