Can Ye still get on the ballot?

    Rapper Kanye West speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval office of the White House on October 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo by Oliver Contreras/Getty Images.

    More evidence emerged this week that Republicans were in on the effort to get rapper Kanye West on the ballot in Minnesota in the upcoming presidential election.

    Andrew Post of Minnetonka, who has worked for Republicans, is listed as an elector for West, meaning he would represent the hip hop star and fashion mogul in the Electoral College should West win Minnesota.

    When contacted by phone, Post said he was “absolutely aware” he was an elector and “can’t wait” to see West on the ballot. West’s wife has been public about the star’s recent struggle with bipolar disorder.

    Asked how he became an elector, Post said “That’s my business, not yours.”

    Supporters of West — or at least those who want him on the presidential ballot — submitted enough valid signatures this week to get him on the ballot in November.

    He needed 2,000 signatures, and the state counted 7,557 valid signatures, according to Risikat Adesaogun, press secretary for the secretary of state’s office. The office verifies that the signatures include all necessary information, but does not check to see if the 20 electors listed are valid.

    “As far as the electors consenting, the short answer is that we do not check that, nor do we require any kind of consent,” Adesaogun said via email.

    The Reformer attempted to do some spot checking of the electors, and left messages for almost all 20 of them Tuesday and Wednesday after the signatures were submitted to the state. We reached six of them, and of those, four were aware they were electors, but two were not.

    Kim Rendl of Wyoming (in Chisago County) is listed as an alternate elector, but was completely unaware. Another person listed as an elector, Heidi Rendl of Wyoming, was not able to be reached. Kim Rendl hung up before we could ask if they’re related.

    Samuel Kuphal of Hamel is also listed as an elector, and his wife Lindsay Kuphal is listed as an alternate elector. When reached by phone Tuesday, Lindsay Kuphal didn’t know anything about it.

    Electors must sign a form stating they agree to be one.

    So what if people were listed as electors without their knowledge? Adesaogun said under the law, 204B.44, if someone wants to challenge that, they’d have to go to court.

    Republicans have reportedly been involved in the effort to get West on the ballot in some battleground states, likely in hopes of siphoning young, Black and hip-hop aficionado votes from Democrat Joe Biden.

    Near the recent Trump campaign rally in Mankato, a Reformer reporter was approached by two young men gathering signatures to get West on the ballot.

    Jennifer Crancer of Chestnut Cambronne law firm has been in contact with the secretary of state’s office with procedural questions about minor party/independent petition requirements to get on the ballot. Crancer’s husband Kit Crancer was a GOP aide in the Missouri state Senate and is currently a lobbyist, according to his LinkedIn profile.

    DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin has said the party is “reviewing all available options for defending the integrity of our elections.”