Kanye West Files Petitions to Appear on Ballots in Missouri and New Jersey Despite Recent Struggles
The latest campaign filings came as Kim Kardashian visited Kanye West for the first time in weeks at the family's Wyoming ranch
Kanye West's 2020 presidential campaign is still pushing forward this week with news of his latest political news surfacing as the musician received an emotional visit from his wife Kim Kardashian West on Monday at the family's Wyoming ranch.
The same day Kim, 39, was spotted speaking face-to-face with Kanye, 43, for the first time in weeks, PEOPLE has confirmed her husband's 2020 campaign officially submitted the required paperwork to appear on election ballots in both Missouri and New Jersey.
Kanye's on-again, off-again potential presidential campaign was first announced in a tweet on July 4 and he held one campaign event in South Carolina, amid what his family has described as the musician's latest bipolar episode.
Despite recent public concerns about Kanye's mental health, his 2020 campaign has now successfully filed paperwork to appear on at least four states' ballots: Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Illinois.
Most states require political candidates to submit a petition that's signed by a certain number of registered voters in that state, in order to prove they have enough legitimate support to warrant their name appearing on the general election ballot.
The West campaign paid a $35,000 fee earlier this month to get his name on the Oklahoma ballot, while he also submitted the required 2,500 signatures needed to appear on Illinois' ballot.
However, in Illinois, because the state allows its residents to file objections over the validity of the signatures that a candidate gathered to get on the ballot, Kanye's campaign will need to prove that it gathered 2,500 legitimate signatures after state records show three objections have been filed against his petition.
“If someone did challenge him, I think he would be off the ballot,” election attorney Pericles Abbasi, who has gone through Illinois' petition review process “dozens and dozens” of times with local candidates, told PEOPLE this month.
In Missouri, a state spokesperson tells PEOPLE that local election officials will begin reviewing Kanye's petition signatures this week.
Independent candidates in Missouri are required to submit 10,000 signatures and West's campaign successfully did by Monday's deadline, as first reported by the Kansas City Star. Missouri state residents can challenge the validity of the paperwork in court, the state spokesperson says.
The ultimate deadline for Missouri officials to finalize its ballot is August 25, as many states are pushing for voters to use mail-in voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In New Jersey, West's campaign filed 1,327 signatures — more than the 800 the state required for the 2020 election. The deadline to file an objection against West's petition in New Jersey is July 31, according to the state.
To be safe, most candidates submit signature sheets with well over the amount required, Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich told PEOPLE this month.
“It’s the general practice among most candidates that they submit a number of signatures far greater than the minimum,” Dietrich explains. “If an independent candidate for president had filed 10,000 signatures, that would be a much more daunting challenge for an objector.”
“Here,” Dietrich said of Kanye's Illinois petition, “you don’t have a tremendous number of signatures above the minimum."
West's campaign has operated quietly but has continued to make efforts to appear on many state ballots. The New York Post reports West's campaign is also making efforts to gather the 30,000 required signatures needed to appear on New York's ballot by Thursday's deadline.
Meanwhile, Kim has asked for "compassion" as their family addresses Kanye's recent behavior, including his controversial comments about abolitionist Harriet Tubman and, more personally, a since-deleted tweeted in which Kanye accused Kim and her mom Kris Jenner of trying to "lock him up."
"As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder," Kim tweeted in a public statement this month. "Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand."
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.