North Carolina Green Party May Sue North Carolina Over August Deadline for Filing for Write-in Status for President

Thirty-five states, including North Carolina, provide that a presidential candidate who is not on the ballot may file to have his or her write-ins counted. The vast majority of the deadlines for doing that are in October. North Carolina, somewhat irrationally, says the declaration is due in early August. North Carolina also requires 500 valid signatures to file for declared write-in status. The Green Party is somewhat likely to sue to get more time to file for write-in presidential status. North Carolina is in the 4th circuit, and the 4th circuit is protective of write-in candidates. In 1989 it struck down Maryland’s law that required declared write-in candidates to pay a filing fee of $290. That case is Dixon v Maryland State Administrative Board of Election Laws, 878 F.2d 776. Also in 2000, a U.S. District Court in West Virginia followed the Dixon precedent and struck down the West Virginia law that required write-in candidates to pay filing fees.


  1. The Greens couldn’t even get 500 signatures for NC? Really?

  2. Mr. Winger, will they challenge the write in requirement? We are the only state that requires signatures for write ins for president correct?

  3. Richard Winger · · Reply

    I doubt it. They already have most of the signatures they need.

  4. Jim Riley · · Reply

    In Texas, lists of write-in candidates are placed in each polling booth, and there is a requirement that mail voters have the same voting experience as in-person voters, to the extent practicable. This implicitly requires lists of write-in candidates to be included in the election materials sent to voters.

    In Florida, whether there will be write-in candidates in the general election can have an effect on which voters may vote in a primary, and whether the race will even appear on the ballot.

    Since write-in candidates are real candidates, late filings may let them skirt campaign finance reporting laws.

    And because some voters may vote well before the nominal election day, permitting October filings may be irrational. Remember the Alaska election, where election officials had to get a continuously updated candidate list in case a voter wanted assistance spelling Malarkey.

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