Vermonters who haven't joined Team Trump or the Biden bandwagon may be able to pick Kanye West for president on November 3. The billionaire rapper officially submitted paperwork on Monday to appear on Vermont's general election ballot, Secretary of State Jim Condos confirmed.
West's consent form came in just before 5 p.m. Monday, the deadline for independent presidential candidates to file to appear on the ballot. Condos didn’t know offhand whether West had filed as an independent or as a minor party candidate; the deadline for the latter to file is 5 p.m. Thursday.
TMZ reported that West named "biblical life coach" Michelle Tidball as his running mate in Vermont, but Condos could not immediately confirm that detail. He said elections staff must verify whether West's form is complete —including naming his VP pick — before the rapper can officially be listed on the ballot.
West did not have to gather signatures to qualify in Vermont because the requirement was waived owing to the pandemic.
Also Monday, West filed signatures to appear on ballots in Arkansas and West Virginia; he’ll attempt to meet deadlines in swing states Ohio and Wisconsin this week. West has also submitted paperwork in Illinois, Missouri and New Jersey but has only qualified in Oklahoma.
West, who once supported President Donald Trump, announced his presidential bid on July 4, after the filing deadlines for several states had already passed.
“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 tweeted then, appending an American flag emoji and the hashtag “#2020VISION” to his announcement.
West’s first campaign rally, in South Carolina last month, drew significant media attention after West ranted and cried onstage. The next day, West posted now-deleted tweets saying he wanted to divorce his wife, Kim Kardashian West. The reality TV star addressed her husband's behavior on Instagram.
“Living with bi-polar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas, no matter how big or unobtainable they may feel to some," she wrote. "He is a brilliant but complicated person."
Including West, about 10 candidates had filed in Vermont for president as of Monday evening, Condos said, adding he expects more names will trickle in before the Thursday cutoff. Major party candidates will be confirmed after the national conventions in August.