THE BLOG
05/04/2016 10:26 pm ET Updated May 05, 2017

How to Be a Write-in Candidate for POTUS

Disappointed in your "two choices" for President of the United States? Don't like the Tea Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party or any party for that matter? How about voting for a write-in candidate?

Ignoring the fact, for now, that a candidate must overcome relative obscurity, it is possible to mount a write-in campaign in 43 states.

The seven states that won't accept write-in votes are: Hawaii, Louisiana*, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota. These states add up to 44 electoral votes.

It is not necessary to be on the ballot to win. What is necessary, however, is for the candidate to file a letter of intent, affidavit or certificate of candidacy in 35 of the states that accept write-ins. Illinois makes candidates jump over hoops to file for the privilege of running for office of the President. It's better to stay out of parties and ignore the primary in order to qualify in Illinois for the general election:

A candidate for whom a nomination paper has been filed as a partisan candidate at a primary election, and who is defeated for nomination, is prohibited from being listed on the ballot as an independent candidate or as a candidate of another political party candidate, and may not file a Declaration of Intent to be a Write-In candidate at that General Election. [10 ILCS 5/7-61, 10-3, 17-16.1 and 18-9.1]

*In Louisiana, it's easy enough to be listed as a candidate right on the ballot. Contact Louisiana's Secretary of State office or visit this link for the forms.

If you or a friend are seriously considering running for POTUS, or a significant group of supporters would like to draft a candidate, for more information about write-in requirements, visit this page. Remember to update the information for 2016 by calling each state's Elections Department, Division, Board or Commission. The Federal Elections Commission must also be consulted for filing requirements.

"Cherish the spirit of your people and keep alive their attention...if once they become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors shall all become wolves." -Thomas Jefferson