Kanye West Petition Gatherers Spotted In Iowa

There have been multiple sightings in recent days of canvassers in Iowa gathering signatures to get Kanye West and the Green Party on the state’s presidential ballot line. Often stationed outside grocery and large retail stores and gas stations, different Iowans have witnessed them collecting signatures for West, the Green Party or both at the same time.

Several canvassers were seen outside the South Side Walmart this afternoon with petitions for the Green Party. When pressed on whether they were with Iowa’s Green Party, they said they had were with the Green Party of Florida. Earlier in the week, a Democratic activist ran into similar men at a nearby Hy-Vee who had both Green Party and West petition forms.

A reporter for ABC 5 tweeted earlier today that she found people collecting signatures for West at a different South Side grocery store. They said that they’d been hired by an “independent agency” to do so.

The deadline for a presidential candidate to file in Iowa is this Friday, August 14, at 5:00 p.m.

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Last week, an effort with significant similarities drew national headlines out of Wisconsin. There, a Republican attorney who represents Donald Trump’s campaign delivered petitions for West collected with the help of many out-of-state canvassers, including some from Florida. In that state, several black canvassers also worked outside Walmarts and other stores in parts of Milwaukee with a large minority population.

That operation finished up when their petitions were turned in last week on August 4, several days before the sightings began in Iowa.

Although West has qualified for the ballot in a few states, the Wisconsin signatures are under serious scrutiny.

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In a legal challenge to the petitions, Wisconsin voters claimed the petition circulators did not tell them that their signatures were going to put West on the ballot. One reported that a canvasser said signing the form was to “support increasing minority representation.” Several circulators listed addresses from other states that weren’t actually residential addresses.

Wisconsin voters provided affidavits of the interactions they had with the canvassers in order to help the legal case.

Trump’s campaign and their supporters have been very open about their goal behind backing West’s candidacy: they believe it will siphon away black votes from Joe Biden. Whether that would actually be the strategic outcome is unclear, but it is obvious that West is in the race to act as a spoiler. He will likely not appear on enough state ballots to even reach the number of electoral votes to win the presidency were his campaign to somehow take off.

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To get on the ballot as a presidential candidate in Iowa, you must collect 1,500 signatures from ten separate counties. Such a requirement is relatively easy to achieve, but still requires a concerted effort to accomplish.

 

by Pat Rynard
Posted 8/12/20

Iowa Starting Line is an independently-owned progressive news outlet devoted to providing unique, insightful coverage on Iowa news and politics. We need reader support to continue operating — please donate here. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more coverage.

6 Comments on "Kanye West Petition Gatherers Spotted In Iowa"

  • It may seem trivial and he has no chance of winning; but Kanye has something he wants to say and this is how to do it peacefully in our system. Lets the voters decide.

  • Certainly not a fan of Biden, worse nominee since Mondale. If Kanye wants to get on the ballot here in Iowa I hope he succeeds. I have been voting Democrat since 1976 but the days of me voting for every idiot or career politician who happens to have a “D” next to their name is gone forever. The more candidates and choices – the better!

  • We all know Kanye’s doing all this just to help Trump win since he gains more from the latter giving him PPP loans while leaving almost nothing for small businesses.

  • I certainly hope Iowans have enough brains to not fall for West-Trump stupid plan. If so, Iowa will be a laughing stock of the state’s and US.

  • To anyone paying any attention at all to this matter, it is very evident that Kanye West is battling bipolar disease and that his relatives, including his wife, are desperate to get him the help he sorely needs. All the talk about him having the right to run for office is ignoring this very salient fact. Voters, please don’t give this sad effort anymore attention than to wish the man well regarding his mental health.

    Above all, don’t allow Trump’s effort to exploit him to succeed.

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