Truth be told: A fact check on Kanye West’s run for president and the Arizona impact

Kanye West
Posted at 2:57 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 10:01:09-04

PHOENIX — Kanye West has said that he cannot win the presidency, but he is still pursuing efforts to get on states’ ballots. Why? West said it is to help his friend Donald Trump in the long-term. West, and those supporting him, believe that he can syphon votes from Joe Biden in order to help secure President Trump’s re-election.

The claim

Petition circulators were being recruited on social media to work for National Ballot Access, a company hired to collect signatures for ballot measures. If successful, West would be able to get onto Arizona’s Presidential Ballot.

Also, West is reportedly willing to pay $8 for every valid signature collected from circulators working in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.

Truth be told

West is hoping to syphon off some of Biden’s support to help Trump close the gap. The presidential polls are close, and Biden is narrowly leading.

According the Secretary of State Office in Arizona, Independent candidates must have enough signatures to equal three percent of all voters who are not registered as a Democrat or Republican.

This means that West would need 39,039 valid signatures to qualify by September 4.

Kanye West has already filed enough signatures to qualify for the ballots in six states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Oklahoma, Utah, and Vermont.

Some attempts have been unsuccessful. In Wisconsin, a Trump campaign attorney missed the filing deadline by seconds, while in Ohio, Illinois and Montana all failed.

Impact on voters

"So, you're talking about anywhere from a half million to a million dollars to get this thing going,” said Chad Campbell, a political strategist, while noting how costly it will be for West to get the necessary votes in Arizona.

Jeff DeWit, the chief operating officer of Trump 2020, believes that, right now, “there is a silent majority. There is an enthusiasm gap. Trump has the enthusiasm on his side. He can still pack arenas.”

Campbell also thinks, “it’s pretty transparent what this is.”

He continued, saying that it is, “an attempt by the Trump campaign and his representatives to try and confuse voters to take away some votes from the Biden campaign."