MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Secretary of State's office says rapper Kanye West has qualified to appear on the state's presidential ballot this November as an independent candidate.

A spokesman for the office says that official signature totals were not immediately available because election workers were in the process of taking personal information off the documents. He needed 2,000 verified signatures to qualify.

West launched his bid in a tweet on July 4, raising speculation that it was an effort by Republicans to siphon voters away from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, or perhaps a publicity stunt.

He has made the ballots in more than half a dozen states and has pending petitions in other states.

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