The 2020 presidential race was controversial for many reasons. Many people believe that the election hasn’t quite ended yet, but most of the votes have been counted, and a winner has been declared. Possibly the most controversial presidential candidate was one that most critics said didn’t have a chance of winning — still, Kanye West‘s presidential campaign made headlines on a number of occasions. While West ended up receiving quite a few votes, there is another popular musician who scored some write-in votes during this year’s campaign.
Kanye West’s controversial run for president
On July 4th, 2020, fireworks weren’t the only things lighting up social media. Kanye West, the rapper who is married to Kim Kardashian West, announced his bid for the presidency, declaring that he would be campaigning in the 2020 presidential election. While a number of people thought that the controversial singer was joking, West proclaimed that he was dead serious, writing in a tweet: “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 🇺🇸! #2020VISION.”
Many critics slammed West for his choice, saying that he was making a mockery of the electoral process. High-profile celebrities like Meghan McCain spoke out in the days following his announcement, stating that West’s “erratic” behavior should exclude him from the running. Still, he had his supporters, with some saying that West was the ideal candidate to shake things up in Washington.
How many votes did Kanye West get?
It had a shaky start, but in the months after his announcement, Kanye West’s campaign went through even more shakeups. He dropped out of the race once or twice, before stating that he was back in the running. He failed to meet deadlines to appear on the ballot in a few states, and after several celebrities like Jennifer Aniston encouraged fans on social media not to vote for West, it seemed as though his campaign was faltering.
Ultimately, West ended up appearing on the ballot in twelve states, including Tennessee, Colorado, Arkansas, and Vermont. All in all, West had a pretty poor showing at the polls, reportedly receiving fewer than 60,000 votes. As reported by Newsweek, West received the most votes in the state of Tennessee, racking up more than 10,000 votes. Still, it was not enough to make West a serious contender for the presidency, and in the early hours of November 4th, West conceded the race on his Twitter account.
Willie Nelson received write-in votes during this year’s election
Kanye West was not the only celebrity to receive some votes during this year’s election. According to Statesman, a number of musicians received write-in votes, including, most notably, Willie Nelson. The report states that Nelson received a total of four write-in votes in the state of Vermont, which was ultimately called for President-elect Joe Biden.
A number of other big-name celebs got write-in votes, including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brady, Betty White, Keanu Reeves, Tony Danza, and, perhaps most bizarrely, Santa Claus, the mythical holiday figure. The report also reveals that this is far from the first time that Willie Nelson has received write-in votes during a presidential election — and that the country music icon has actually considered running for political office on several occasions. As bizarre as this campaign season was, it seems likely that elections will only continue to get more outrageous — and the 2024 election should prove to be especially interesting.
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