Utahns now have the power to choose Kanye West on their presidential ballot

Colter Peterson, KSL, File

Utahns now have the power to choose Kanye West on their presidential ballot

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted - Aug. 17, 2020 at 3:12 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Kanye West once said "no one man should have all that power," but Utahns will have the power to vote for the 21-time Grammy Award-winning rapper on their presidential ballot this fall.

Monday is the last day people can declare as unaffiliated candidates in the Nov. 3 election. The Utah Elections Office tweeted Monday that four people have filed to run as unaffiliated presidential candidates. They include West, Brock Pierce, Joe Mchugh and Gloria La Riva.

Justin Lee, the state’s elections director, confirmed that West will be on the November ballot in Utah after he completed the proper paperwork, submitted the $500 filing fee and gathered 1,000 signatures from registered Utah voters needed to be on the ballot.

While this unaffiliated candidate stands out compared to many others who may file, Lee explained on KSL NewsRadio's "Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry" that the office's job is to make sure the rules are followed regardless of the candidate.

"We kind of got to take a step back ... and make sure the process is followed," he said.

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted an image of West’s application Monday. In the document dated on Thursday, West listed his home address as Cody, Wyoming.

Lee explained that West didn't show up to the Utah Capitol to file the paperwork. Much like with major party candidates, a representative of him came to the elections office and submitted the paperwork. West got his signature notarized in Wyoming.

The controversial and outspoken rapper announced his presidential run via Twitter on July 4. The announcement garnered more than 500,000 retweets.

"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," his tweet read at the time. “I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION"

In an interview with Forbes shortly after, he said he would have run as a Republican had President Donald Trump not sought reelection. At that point, he didn't reveal many of his platform ideas other than he was against abortion and the death penalty.

"God just gave me the clarity and said it’s time," he told the outlet when asked what prompted him to run for president in 2020.

He’s since qualified to be on the ballot in at least three other states, according to the Associated Press.

West is no stranger to the Beehive State, either. He last appeared for a "Sunday service" concert in Salt Lake City on Oct. 5, 2019. The event, which was only announced the evening before it happened, brought thousands to the Gateway that afternoon.

Contributing: Lee Lonsberry, KSL NewsRadio

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