Write-in Candidates in US Presidential Elections

Are write-in candidates allowed in US presidential general elections? The Wikipedia article mentions several victorious write-in candidacies in presidential primaries, but I didn’t see anything specifically stating someone’s name can be written in during a general election.

That list also appears to mention write-in candidacies by state – I’m guessing the individual states/jurisdictions set their own rules for the ballots for the general election of the president? Or would the same rules apply nationwide?

I know there are always joke campaigns urging us to write in a name in the general election, but is it always allowed? Or on a state-by-state basis? And/or only in primaries?

It’s allowed in all but eight states. There is a way to write-in candidates, though the system differs by state.

Interesting chart. Some of those entries for the various states say “for the general election” and some are more opaque.

I’m especially interested in the MD/DC/VA area. I see some articles claiming that Virginia does not allow write ins for the primaries; not sure if they exclude the general election.

As the chart indicates, there are only a few states where a write-in vote is counted without the candidate having done any preparatory work. In most states the candidate must apply to the elections board to be a viable write-in candidate.

How would that even work? Do voters also have to write in the electors? If you vote for Joe Lunatic and he doesn’t have a slate of elector candidates, you’ve essentially voted for nobody.

From what I’ve seen via a spot check of election laws, many states deal with this problem by . . . ignoring it. God help them if Joe Lunatic ever wins.

(Some states require Joe to file a declaration of candidacy with an electoral slate before they’ll count his votes. But not all.)

In Virginia, Joe Lunatic files some document stating that he expects write-in votes and providing a list of electors who will vote on his behalf. I assume that this must be done before the election, but I’m not sure.

I have to question that site’s claim that there’s a “Constitutional Right to the Freedom of Choice at the Federal Election Ballot Polls”. Where in the text of the Constitution did they find that?