Kanye West’s album promotional cycle disguised as a political campaign suffered a blow today as the Associated Press reports the mercurial rapper/producer told Administrative Law Judge Gail Cookson that West would be dropping his petition to be included on the New Jersey election ballot. An email chain between the judge and an unidentified person using what appeared to be the rapper’s campaign email address read, “At this time, Kanye 2020 has no further option than to regrettably withdraw from New Jersey and cease further efforts to place Mr. West’s name on the New Jersey ballot.”
Cookson replied, “I will consider this email as a request for a withdrawal of your petition to be placed in nomination for the President of the United States in the State of New Jersey.” The petition itself was already under dispute, as election law attorney Scott Salmon had previously objected to Kanye’s petition in July, arguing that many of the signatures appeared to have similar handwriting or appeared incomplete. The AP notes that Salmon brought the complaint on his own behalf despite being registered as a Democrat, and seemed satisfied with Kanye’s withdrawal.
“I am glad that the Kanye campaign has realized that their petition was so deficient that it wasn’t even worth defending,” Salmon told AP by phone. “It sort of highlights the fact that it shouldn’t have been submitted in the first place.”
Among the issues noted by Salmon’s complaint, some signatures were missing complete addresses, while a number of the signatures displayed the same writing quirk: lower-case “i’s” dotted with circles. Kanye announced his bid for the Presidency in June, well after several states closed their eligibility periods and extremely close to the deadlines for several others. At the time, he had yet to file paperwork in most states. Shortly thereafter, he announced his new album, Donda, giving a release date that has since come and gone without a sign of the new music in question.