Skip to main content

Presidential Candidates


Qualifications

To be President of the United States, upon taking office a person must:

  • be a natural born citizen of the United States
  • be at least 35 years of age
  • have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years

Filing Fee

There is no filing fee in Minnesota for presidential candidates.

Method of Filing

Presidential candidates do not file an affidavit of candidacy to have their name placed on the ballot in Minnesota. As described in the following sections, major political parties nominate their candidates and all other candidates must file a nominating petition. Minnesota does not have a presidential primary, so all candidates who file will be on the general election ballot.

Major Political Party Candidates

By August 29, 2016, the chair of each major political party shall certify to the Office of the Secretary of State:

  • the names of the party candidates for president and vice-president
  • the names of the ten people nominated as presidential electors
  • the names of the ten people nominated as alternate presidential electors

The submission to the Secretary of State must include pledges executed by each nominee agreeing to mark their ballots for the party’s nominees.

The presidential and vice-presidential candidates, ten electors and alternates are "nominated by delegate conventions called and held under the supervision of the respective state central committees of the parties." (Minnesota Statutes 208.03) Contact each party for specific information on their internal process from precinct caucus to state and national conventions.

Non-Major Political Party Candidates

Candidates of minor political parties, other political parties, or independent candidates must file by nominating petition to get their names placed on the general election ballot in Minnesota. The petition must include:

  • names of presidential and vice-presidential candidates
  • up to three words stating the political party or principle
  • ten presidential elector nominees
  • ten alternate presidential elector nominees

Find more information on the petition forms and process on Candidate Petitions.

Candidates must obtain 2,000 signatures of individuals who are eligible to vote in Minnesota. The first day signatures may be collected is May 17, 2016. The Nominating Petition must be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State by 5:00 pm on August 23, 2016. The submission to the Secretary of State must include pledges executed by each nominee agreeing to mark their ballots for the party’s nominees or for the unaffiliated candidates.

The Office of the Secretary of State will review the submitted petition and pledges and if they are found sufficient, the name of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates will be placed on the ballot along with their political party or principle.

Withdrawal

Presidential and vice-presidential candidates nominated by petition may withdraw. See Op. Atty. Gen. 28C-5, September 26, 1968.

Write-ins

A presidential candidate who wishes to run as a write-in candidate in Minnesota must file a written request in order for the write-in votes for them to be counted.  This request must also include the name of a vice-presidential candidate and the name of at least one, but not more than ten, candidates for presidential elector. This request must be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State by November 1, 2016.

Election Process

An explanation of Minnesota's presidential election process is in the How Elections Work section.