Text that says Election  News next to the official Clerk-Recorder seal

Write-In Period Runs Through February 20

Author: Erin Clausen
Date: 1/12/2024 4:42 PM

We're currently in the write-in period for the upcoming Presidential Primary Election. The Elections Office breaks down what this means -- and doesn't.

January 8, 2024, kicked off the write-in period for the March 5, 2024, Presidential Primary Election. Through February 20, prospective candidates for may file a Statement of Write-In Candidacy with the Clerk-Recorder.

To be declared an official write-in candidate, a prospective candidate needs to file their statement and also circulate nomination papers for signatures within the jurisdiction of the office they seek. The number of signatures required is between 40 and 100, depending on the office.

Per California Elections Code, write-in candidates can only run in the primary election. In order to be nominated to appear on the general election ballot, the write-in candidate must receive the highest number of votes cast for the office or the second highest number of votes cast for the office at the primary election, unless there is a tie.

Anyone who seeks nomination as a write-in candidate will not see their name printed on any ballot, and the Voter Information Guide will not contain a candidate statement for them.

Because primary ballots contain at least one line for a write-in candidate in every contest, voters sometimes think that they can write the name of anyone they'd like to see serve in that office. In truth, if the name hasn't been qualified as an official write-in candidate, it will not count as an official vote.

Anyone interested in running for office as a write-in candidate should contact the Elections Office at (805) 781-5228 or [email protected].