“The unfortunate fact is this dispute could have been avoided had the West representatives simply arrived earlier,” the judge said. “Candidates need to plan ahead and arrive in time to get into the building and file the papers in the office of the commission prior to the deadline, there are no exceptions under the statute or the relevant case law.”
West had argued that the deadline did not expire until 5:01 p.m. and regardless of the timing, commission staffers still accepted the papers. The commission voted that West had missed the deadline either by a few seconds or several minutes.
According to the lawsuit, commission staff should have unlocked the building’s doors at 4:30 p.m. to accommodate late-arriving filers. But the commission’s building has been locked since the coronavirus pandemic began. West’s campaign workers had to call the commission shortly before 5 p.m. to get them to unlock the doors.
A commission staff member said West’s representatives didn’t place…