Whether a candidate ends up on a ballot varies by state. The deadline has passed in four states, and it's approaching in nine others.
- Kanye West said he intended to run for president of the United States, tweeting on Saturday: "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States!"
- West received a range of reactions, including support from Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.
- But the deadline to file as an independent presidential candidate has passed in four states, and the deadline is approaching in nine others.
- With just four months until voters head to the polls, West also hasn't appeared to register with the Federal Election Commission, though there is no official deadline to do so.
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On Saturday night, Kanye West said in a tweet that he intended to run for president.
But it's too late for him to file as an independent candidate in four states, and it doesn't appear that he has registered with the Federal Election Committee either.
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," West, 43, tweeted with the hashtag #2020VISION. "I am running for president of the United States!"
—Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 5, 2020
West's wife, the reality star and makeup mogul Kim Kardashian West, shared his announcement, adding a US flag emoji. Support came from outside the West family too.
"You have my full support!" Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, tweeted in reply. Musk and West have a documented friendship: Most recently, on Wednesday, West tweeted a photo of the two together, and in 2015 Musk wrote West's entry in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people.
—ye (@kanyewest) July 1, 2020
Some speculated that the 'announcement' was a publicity stunt to promote his new single
Some accused West of pulling a publicity stunt on the heels of the release of his new single, "Wash Us in the Blood," and the recent announcement of a new album, "God's Country." Also in June, West announced a collaboration to bring a version of his popular Yeezy fashion line to Gap stores next year.
Despite the tweet, according to a Ballotpedia list of state deadlines, West has missed the deadline to register as an independent presidential candidate in:
- North Carolina, which required candidates to register by March 3.
- Texas, which required candidates to register by May 11.
- New Mexico, which required candidates to register by June 25.
- Indiana, which required candidates to register by June 30.
While West could run in these states as a write-in candidate, rules for write-in candidates vary from state to state and often do not count: A 2016 Washington Post report said that states often opted to tally the votes for all write-in candidates in an "other" category.
It's not too late for West to appear on the ballot in most states, though Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maine, and New York have July deadlines, according to Ballotpedia.
Presidential candidates must also register with the Federal Election Commission, which doesn't have a deadline. It doesn't appear that West has registered as a candidate with the FEC, according to publicly available records. A candidate by the name of "KANYE DEEZ NUTS WEST" registered as a Green Party candidate in 2015 but has not reported raising any funds.
West has previously embraced Trump
The rapper and fashion designer has received some criticism for his embrace of President Donald Trump. In an October 2018 meeting at the White House, West wore one of the president's signature "Make America Great Again" fire-engine-red hats. Earlier that year, he tweeted a photo of himself wearing the cap.
West has long dabbled in politics; in 2005, he made headlines when he said in a television appearance following Hurricane Katrina that President George W. Bush "doesn't care about Black people."
"I'm definitely voting this time. And we know who I'm voting on," West said. "And I'm not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over."
Kardashian West has also worked with the Trump administration on criminal-justice reform. Most notably, she successfully lobbied the president in 2018 to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who had been serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole for her involvement in first-time, nonviolent drug crimes in 1996.
West's tweet had more than 450,000 retweets and 920,000 likes as of Sunday morning.
CORRECTION July 7: A previous version of this report stated that the deadline in six states had passed based on information retrieved from Ballotpedia on July 5. Ballotpedia has since altered its spreadsheet and clarified that the deadline for unaffiliated candidates has not yet passed in Maine or New York.