Skip to page body Home About Community Living Doing Business Browse by Topic I Want to... Your Government

Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Frequently Asked Questions - Presidential Ballot Access

How do candidates for president and vice president get on the ballot in Minnesota?
May write-in votes be counted for presidential and vice-presidential candidates?
Is there a statewide primary for president and vice president in Minnesota?
Is there an Affidavit of Candidacy required for the office of president and vice-president?
Is there a filing fee required for the office of president and vice-president?
May candidates for president and vice-president withdraw?

Q: How do candidates for president and vice president get on the ballot in Minnesota?
A:

The method for gaining ballot access for president and vice president depends on whether the candidate is affiliated with one of the three major parties in Minnesota. For major party presidential candidates, their ten electors are to be nominated at delegate conventions under the supervision of the party’s state central committee. At least 71 days before the state general election (August 29, 2016), the chair of a major political party shall certify to the secretary of state the names of persons nominated as presidential electors and the names of the party candidates for president and vice-president. (M.S. 208.03)

Minor party and independent presidential electors must be nominated by petition. The names of the candidates for president and vice-president must be added to the political party or political principle stated on the nominating petition. (M.S. 204B.07, subd. 2) At least 2,000 valid signatures of eligible voters are required on the petition. Signatures for the nominating petition may not be gathered until the first day of the filing period (May 17, 2016). (M.S. 204B.08) Nominating petitions with the required signatures must be filed with the Office of Secretary of State at least 77 days before the state general election (August 23, 2016). (M.S. 204B.09, subd. 1(c) )

-Nominating Petition (Presidential Electors) (print on 8.5" x 14" (legal size) paper)
-Example Nominating Petition (Presidential Electors)

See Filing Periods for specific dates for a given year.

Q: May write-in votes be counted for presidential and vice-presidential candidates?
A:
Yes. The candidate must file a written request with the Office of Secretary of State to count write-in votes no later than the seventh day prior to the general election (November 1, 2016). A candidate who files a request must include the name of a vice-presidential candidate. The request must include the name of at least one candidate for presidential elector. The total number of names of candidates for presidential elector on the request may not exceed the total number of electoral votes (10) to be cast by Minnesota in the presidential election (M.S. 204B.09, subd. 3).
Q: Is there a statewide primary for president and vice president in Minnesota?
A:
No. The presidential primary law was repealed in 1999. At the state political party precinct caucuses, participants may vote on a preference ballot for presidential candidates. (M.S. 202A.18, subd. 2a.) The 2016 precinct caucuses are currently scheduled to be held on February 2, 2016.  (M.S. 202A.14)
Q: Is there an Affidavit of Candidacy required for the office of president and vice-president?
A:
There is no Affidavit of Candidacy requirement to file for the office of president and vice-president in Minnesota. (M.S. 204B.06, subd. 1b.)
Q: Is there a filing fee required for the office of president and vice-president?
A:
No filing fee is required for the office of president and vice-president in Minnesota (M.S. 204B.11, subd. 1.).
Q: May candidates for president and vice-president withdraw?
A:
Yes. Presidential and vice-presidential candidates nominated by petition may withdraw. (See Op. Atty. Gen. 28C-5, September 26, 1968.)

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Download Acrobat Reader Download WinZip Download Word Viewer Download Excel Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer Download Quicktime Download Real Player