So, can you write in a candidate for president on a South Carolina ballot?

Published: Jul. 29, 2016 at 6:15 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2016 at 2:32 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As Democrats and Republicans put forth two candidates that many of you do not like, you might be wondering if you can write in a candidate for president on your ballot come this November.

State Election Commission Spokesman Chris Whitmire says the commission has fielded more questions than normal during the current cycle from voters wanting to know if they can write in someone else for president and vice-president.

Well, according to state law, you can't.

State election laws state the following when it comes to writing in a candidate for political office instead of picking one of the registered candidates for president.

"The ballots shall also contain a place for voters to write in the name of any other person for whom they wish to vote except on ballots for the election of the President and Vice President."

This is not new since the amendment banning write-in voting for the top two national offices was put in place by state lawmakers back in 1982. It changed a section of the Code that otherwise allows write-ins for most other elected officials. The Palmetto State is one of about seven states that do not allow write-ins for president and vice-president.

The lack of the option frustrates some voters, especially this year.

"I believe the right to vote is so important that sometimes we need to put up with the inconvenience of possibly some of this ludicrous stuff going on of non-sensical candidates. That's the price we pay in a democracy. To have the right to vote for who you want," Warren Koestner, who supports the write-in option said.

As indicated by the presence of at least two third party presidential tickets, South Carolina does provide a way for voters to have more choices. But getting an independent presidential candidate on the general election ballot requires submission of a petition including ten thousand signatures of registered voters.

That said, you have at least four choices for president-vice president tickets in South Carolina:

  • Democratic Party: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine
  • Republican Party: Donald Trump and Mike Pence
  • Libertarian Party: Gary Johnson and Bill Weld
  • Green Party: Jill Stein and an unpicked running mate

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