(The Center Square) – Fourteen seconds may keep Kanye West off the November ballot in Wisconsin.
Staffers at the state’s Election Commission on Tuesday recommended that West not be added to the ballot.
The WEC investigators say West did not meet Wisconsin’s 5 p.m. deadline two weeks ago to file his campaign paperwork.
“Commission staff does not believe the statutory language permits the filing of nomination papers after 5:00 p.m., and anything filed after 5:00 p.m. does not comply with the ‘not later than 5 p.m.’ language of the statute,” the decision from the commission staff states. “Simply reaching the front door of the building that houses the Commission does not mean nomination papers have been filed.”
West’s lawyers say they filed the paperwork at 14 seconds after 5.
West’s lawyers presented the WEC with a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that talks about being in the state’s office, and the intent of filing before the deadline.
“Candidate West quotes directly from that case: ‘If the candidate or someone on his behalf [is] present in the office where the filing is required “to tender the nomination papers not later than 5 o’clock p.m. central … time [the agency] would have been obliged to accept them,'” the staff wrote. “But if the candidate or his representative fails, as here, to reach the office until later than the time specified the tender comes too late.”
The Commission staff agreed, and said that is why West’s nomination papers were filed late.
The full Wisconsin Election Commission will vote on West’s bid to make the ballot on Thursday.
Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.