Lawsuit filed to keep Kanye West off presidential ballot in Virginia, Herring asks for emergency hearing

Virginia
Kanye West

FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2019, file photo, Kanye West attends the WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The rap superstar will design adult and kids’ clothing that will be sold at Gap in 2021. Yeezy is best known for pricey sneakers that sell out online quickly. But Yeezy footwear, made with sneaker company Adidas, won’t be sold at Gap. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A law firm with ties to prominent Democrats has filed a lawsuit attempting to keep rapper Kanye West off presidential ballots in Virginia.

Attorneys for Perkins Coie filed a lawsuit in Richmond on Tuesday on behalf of two voters from Suffolk who say they were tricked into signing an “Elector Oath” backing West’s candidacy. 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, which are set to be printed soon. Virginia will begin mailing absentee ballots later this month.

Lawyers for the West campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who wrote a response brief and a motion for an emergency hearing in the case on Wednesday afternoon, said “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.’” 

West supported President Donald Trump for reelection until announcing his own presidential bid in July. Democrats claim Republicans are pushing West’s candidacy in swing states to siphon Black votes from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

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