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October 23, 2020
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Secretary of State Alex Padilla Certifies U.S. President and Vice President Write-in Candidate List for November 3, 2020 General Election

SACRAMENTO, CA – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla today certified the list of write-in candidates for U.S. President and Vice President for the November 3, 2020, General Election.

The certified list of write-in candidates is available online here:

The list of write-in presidential electors is available online here:

Does a candidate have to agree to become a certified write-in candidate?
California Elections Code only specifies that 55 registered voters/electors can pledge themselves to a write-in candidate. State law does not specify that the candidate must consent to being certified as a qualified write-in candidate. Information on the process for registered voters to pledge themselves as presidential electors has been available on the Secretary of State’s website:

When will the Secretary of State’s office have vote counts for the certified write-in candidates?
County elections officials count votes for write-in candidates during the post-election canvass period. Please note that ballots with write-in candidates take longer to count.

Results for write-in candidates are not transmitted to the Secretary of State’s office until counties do their final certification of the vote, therefore the Secretary of State’s election night website will not have results for write-in candidates. 

Do voters have to write a certified write-in candidate’s name exactly? Does spelling count?
County Elections Officials will accept a reasonable facsimile of the spelling of a candidate’s name. Example: votes for “Joe Smith” and “Joseph Smith” would be accepted. 

Where can voters find the list of certified write-in candidates?
The list of certified write-in candidates is posted on the Secretary of State’s website, and county elections officials will post the list in polling locations.


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