The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state’s election chief lawfully rejected Kanye West’s effort to get on the Ohio ballot.
In a 7-0 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the rapper and his vice-presidential candidate Michelle Tidball failed to comply with state law in their effort to appear as independent candidates on the November ballot.
Last month, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose determined the signature and information on West’s nominating petition and statement of candidacy did not match the documents actually used for petitions signed by voters.
“A signature is the most basic form of authentication and an important, time-honored, security measure to ensure that a candidate aspires to be on the ballot and that a voter is being asked to sign a legitimate petition,” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a news release. “There is no doubt that the West nominating petition and declaration of candidacy failed to meet the necessary threshold for certification.”
West’s attorney argued that they filed the required paperwork, but the campaign did not dispute that documents circulated to voters were not copies of the original statement of candidacy filed with LaRose’s office.
LaRose had noted Tidball’s signatures on the different documents did not match. Attorney Curt Hartman, who represented West, argued that variations in signatures are acceptable and Tidball attested, under oath, that both signatures were hers.
The court noted that even if the signatures matched, there were other differences between the two petitions to support LaRose’s decision.
“The secretary of state did not abuse his discretion or clearly disregard applicable law when he rejected the nominating petition,” the Ohio Supreme Court found.
West has qualified to appear on the ballot in 12 states.