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Write-in Candidates


On general election ballots, voters always have the option of writing in a name instead of voting for one of the candidates named on the ballot. However, write-in candidates for some offices need to file a request to have votes for them counted.

General Election Only

Write-in votes are not allowed in a primary election

Candidates for Federal Office

A write-in candidate for U.S. President, U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative must file a written request for his or her votes to be counted. This request must be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State no later than the 7th day before the general election.

Presidential candidates 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.

Candidates for State and Judicial Office

A write-in candidate for state or judicial office must file a written request for his or her votes to be counted. This request must be filed with the filing officer for that office no later than the 7th day before the general election.

A candidate for governor must include the name of a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Candidates for County Office

A write-in candidate for county office must file a written request for his or her votes to be counted. This request must be filed with the county auditor no later than the 7th day before the general election.

Candidates for Statutory City, Township, and School District Office

Write-in votes for candidates for statutory city, township, or school district are counted without the need for a written request.

Candidates for Charter City Office

Although there is no statutory requirement for candidates for city office to file a written request for write-in votes to be counted, it is possible that some charter cities may have additional candidate requirements. A candidate should check the city’s charter for possible additional requirements for write-in candidates.

 

Voters may not place pre-printed stickers on their ballot in the write-in space (Minnesota Rules 8230.1450)