what happens if a write in candidate wins?

is it the law that a presidential candidate has to have a running mate or is it just something that the democrats and republicans do by themselves? what would happen if a write in presidential candidate won? who would become the vice-president?

I’m not a political major, or anything…

But I seem to recall something about this being the reason the electoral college exists. So that the national electors can choose a candidate who meets the presidency requirements even if the popular vote nominates someone who doesn’t.

Ummm…whoever gets the most votes?

Let’s say that millions of Americans go to the polls election day and decide to write in Cecil Adams as their choice. He wins the election and becomes President.

His Vice President would most likely be either Dick Cheney or John Edwards - whichever one get the most votes, even though they did not officially run with Adams.

Technically under the 12th Amendment the president and vice-president are elected separately. There is no legal requirement that any candidate for either office have a running mate. Presidential ad VP candidates of the same party and/or political philosophy run together as a matter of convenience.

:confused: Can a presidential candidate be a write-in?
I thought federal law prohibited this?
Where is it in the constitution, if it is possible? :confused:

America has a system of Electors who pick the president. When the people vote they are just electing these Electors. For a “write-in” candidate to win the general election would mean that they managed to get majority of the Electors committed to him/her. At that point it wouldn’t matter if the candidate had campaigned with a designated VP candidate. Since he would control a majority of the Electors s/he would just tell them which name to write down in the 2nd position and that person would become VP. No muss, no fuss.

If you read the 12th Amendment, you will see that the EC votes for the President and Vice President seperately. The person with the most votes for President wins President, and the person with the most EC votes for VP wins VP. It seems that Little Nemo is correct, it would likely be Cheney or Edwards.

To help out the discussion, here is the text of the 12th Amendment. The relevant portion:

As Otto says, you are actually casting two ballots together when you vote for a ticket of President and VP. Therefore, unless there was also a winning write-in VP, the person running for that office who got the most votes would be elected.

Remember – you aren’t voting for either President or Vice President. You’re voting for electors pledged to vote for those people.

That is the big hurdle for a write in for President/VP. You cannot just write in the name of a candidate in the voting booth. You need to write in the names of electors. If your state as 3 electoral votes, you’d have to write in three names. If the names are not eligible to be electors, the vote will be void. There are probably also regulations about who can be an elector (I’d guess they’d have to be state residents, and any write-in would have to have a way to make sure the Board of Elections knows who you are referring to. If you vote for elector Joe Smith, they need to know which of their citizens you mean)

This makes it next to impossible for a write-in for President/VP, since whoever is running needs to 1) register a slate of electors with the state Board of Elections, 2) let all his supporters know they must vote for that slate of electors, and make sure the voters know the precised format their ballot must be in. This is hard for one state, let alone 50. It would take more organization than a single candidate could provide.

Note that this only applies to President/VP. For any other elected office, if enough people write in a candidate’s name, then he’s elected.

Says who? It’s been a while since I last saw my state’s presidential ballot but I don’t remember seeing 11 spaces to write in electors. There was a spot to write in a single presidential candidate IIRC, right below the ballot lines for each of the named candidates. I’d like to see a cite backing up your assertion please, preferably one that covers all the states (since the process of choosing electors is decided on the state level).

Here’s something I’ve wondered for years and this seems like the right thread to ask it. What if you wanted to vote for Bush for Prez, but Edwards as V.P. Could Edwards be eligible for write-in somehow? I’ve always doubted it, but now I want to know.

Is it possible to elect different party members? If so, how would it be handled? If not, I guess I already know why.

No Ed Zotti for Cecil’s VP? :eek:

According to this, most states do not list electors on ballots, though a few still do. In New York, the ballot says in fine print “Electors for” above the names of the candidates.