Ralph Nader stood in as a write-in for “none of the above” in both the 1992 New Hampshire Democratic and Republican Primaries and received 3,054 of the 170,333 Democratic votes and 3,258 of the 177,970 Republican votes cast. – Wikipedia: Ralph Nader; An Unreasonable Man: Trailer.
Ballotpedia: Write In Candidates
There are three basic methods by which an individual may become a candidate for president of the United States.
- An individual can seek the nomination of a political party. Presidential nominees are selected by delegates at national nominating conventions. Individual states conduct caucuses or primary elections to determine which delegates will be sent to the national convention.
- An individual can run as an independent. Independent presidential candidates typically must petition each state to have their names printed on the general election ballot.
- An individual can run as a write-in candidate. In 2016, 33 states required a write-in candidate to file some paperwork in advance of the election. In nine states, write-in voting for presidential candidates was not permitted. The remaining states did not require write-in candidates to file paperwork in advance of the election.
Requirements for write-in candidates
Although a write-in candidate is not entitled to ballot placement, he or she may still be required to file paperwork in order to have his or her votes tallied (or to be eligible to serve should the candidate be elected). In 2016, 33 states required a write-in presidential candidate to file some paperwork in advance of an election. In nine states, write-in voting for presidential candidates was not permitted. The remaining states did not require presidential write-in candidates to file special paperwork before the election.
– Ballotpedia: Ballot Access for Presidential Candidates.
NBC: What Are State Write-In Rules for Candidates?
Different states have different rules for write-in candidates, but they can be divided into three broad categories. Nine states—Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and South Dakota—won’t accept any write-ins at all.
Then there’s a handful of states, including Ayotte’s New Hampshire, that have no requirements for write-in candidates. So all write-in votes are counted, whoever they’re cast for.
Most states, including Ohio, Colorado and Arizona, are in the middle: They accept write-in candidates, but require them to file paperwork ahead of time for their votes to be counted.
And there is some precedent for write-in candidates.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski won re-eleciton to the U.S. Senate as a write-in candidate in 2010 after losing the primary for the Republican nomination to a Tea Party backed candidate.
» NBC: What Are State Write-In Rules for Candidates?.