HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An effort to get Kanye West qualified for the ballot in Montana as an independent presidential candidate has fallen short.

The secretary of state's office says 3,972 signatures out of nearly 8,800 turned were deemed valid.

He needed 5,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. It's not clear who was behind the petition effort.

One of the signature gatherer supervisors, Micah Marchbanks, said West was paying the signature gatherers.

In other states, it appeared that Republican Party leaders were involved in an effort to get him on the ballot, drawing suspicions that President Trump's campaign was supporting the effort to draw votes away from former Vice President Joe Biden.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app