Judge keeps Kanye West off Virginia ballot

The ruling by Richmond Circuit Judge Joi Taylor granted a temporary injunction after finding that 11 of the elector oaths submitted by West “were obtained by improper, fraudulent and/or misleading means or are otherwise invalid because of notarial violations and misconduct.”

Taylor’s order barred the state elections board from printing West’s name on ballots and said officials in any communities where his name already had been printed must provide notice to voters that he had been disqualified.

West’s campaign and his lawyer in the Virginia case, Roanoke attorney Chris Kowalczuk, did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Thursday afternoon.

The action in Virginia comes as questions and legal fights swirl around his quasi-candidacy. The 43-year-old and his running mate, Wyoming-based spiritual life coach Michelle Tidball, have not engaged in traditional campaigning since West declared his intention to seek the presidency in July.
And Republicans, some with ties to President Donald Trump, have aided his efforts to get on the ballot in several states, fueling speculation that GOP interests are seeking to siphon votes from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in key battleground states.

Trump campaign aides have denied involvement in West’s political operation.

The rapper’s campaign tactics also have faced scrutiny. As CNN previously has reported, two Virginia men — aided by a Democratic powerhouse law firm — sued for West’s removal from the Virginia ballot, arguing they had been duped into signing on as electors for the fashion and music mogul’s campaign.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, also sought the emergency court action this week to block West from appearing on the state’s ballot in November’s general election as deadlines to print ballots drew closer.

Virginia absentee ballots are slated to be mailed out by September 19.

West has no chance of capturing the White House. Even before Thursday’s ruling in Virginia, he was not on enough state ballots to come anywhere close to the 270 electoral votes need to win the presidency.

This story has been updated with more details and background.

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