Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentElections · 1 month ago

Can Kanye -- or ANYone -- start a presidential run this late? Don't they have to get on the ballot in all States, or something? ?

3 Answers

  • Tmess2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You can start this late and "run."  But it's not likely that you can make a successful run starting this late.  To understand why it's practically too late, you need to understand the rules, and every state has slightly different rules and deadlines and every party has its own rules.

    For most states, there are two ways to get on the ballots.  First, you can be nominated by an established party (a party that received enough votes -- typically 1-5% in the last state-wide election).  Second, you can petition (either as a new party running in multiple contests or as an independent candidate) to get on the ballot.  And, even if you don't get on the ballot, many states allow write-in candidates (but some states require write-ins to file as a write-in candidate by a deadline).  

    As far as getting the nomination of an established party, the two major parties use a primary-convention process, and most of the delegates to the national convention have been awarded in primaries already held.  Additionally, it is too late to get on the primary ballot in the remaining states.  Given the rules of the two parties, it is almost certain that Donald Trump and Joe Biden will get those nominations even though the conventions are not until next month.  And the last candidate to win a single elector without getting the nomination of one of the two major parties was George Wallace in 1968.  

    Of the minor established parties, all have held their national convention other than the Green Party.  The Green Party will be holding its convention on-line this upcoming week.

    Now, technically, a candidate for President does not need to be on the ballot to win.  The November election is actually for the electors who will then vote in December for a President.  But, the parties (or the independent candidates) choose the slate running for electors on their behalf, and these electors tend (more than 99% of the time) to vote for the presidential candidate that they ran with.  (Some states have laws attempting to enforce the pledge that the electors make to support a given candidate.  The Supreme Court will be issuing a decision on those laws later this month.)

    Even with electors tending to vote as pledged, it is not required to be on the ballot in all fifty states to win.  To win, a candidate merely needs 270 electoral votes.  Thus, a candidate could skip some states and still win enough states to get 270 electoral votes.  Additionally, it's not absolutely necessary to get 270 electoral votes.  If nobody gets 270 electoral votes, the House of Representatives gets to choose between the top three candidates. (It's only gone to the House on two occasions 1800 and 1824.)  In such a vote, the House votes by state (each state gets one vote), but there are as many ballots as it takes for one candidate to get a majority of states.  Obviously, barring a third party doing amazingly well in the House elections this fall, it would be very difficult for a third party or independent candidate to win the House vote; so they really do need the 270 electoral votes.

    Given these rules, there are many candidates running who are only on the ballot in some states. In 2016, thirty-one candidates made the ballot in at least one state.  Only three made the ballot in all jurisdictions, and a fourth (the Green Party) qualified in enough states to have a theoretical chance at 270 elector votes.  In addition, a large number of other candidates filed as a write-in in one or more states, but none in enough states to win.

    Having said all of that, most states have their filing deadlines for ballot access for new parties/independents in late July or August.  So it is still theoretically possible to get on the ballot in enough states to win.  (Texas is the biggest state in which we are past the deadline.)  However, as noted above, it takes a petition to get on the ballot.  In most years, that is hard.  COVID-19 makes it even harder.  So, it is unlikely that a candidate starting in early July will be able to make the ballot in many states.  But it's not impossible.  And even if somebody like Kanye does not make the ballot, he could still run as a write-in in those states that allow write-ins.  

  • 1 month ago

    No, but apparently the sign up thingy hasn't been out yet so who knows.

  • 1 month ago

    Sure. Biden isn’t the democratic nominee yet so he’s not on the ballots. 

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.