Every source I can find says most states require an individual to register to be a write-in candidate for their votes to be tallied. So, has Bernie registered, or does the fact that he ran in the primaries make him automatically registered?

Please give credible sources so we can know for sure.

Here is one source that explains write-ins need to be registered Link

An individual can run as a write-in candidate. In 35 states, a write-in candidate must file some paperwork in advance of the election. In seven states, write-in voting for presidential candidates is not permitted. The remaining states do not require write-in candidates to file paperwork in advance of the election.

  • 5
    He has said repeatedly and publicly that he has no intention at all of running as an independent or third-party. That would make it rather surprising if he'd filed as a write-in.
    – cpast
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 1:20
  • He may be swayed in the future depending how the election goes. If Hillary gets indicted, and every Bernie supporter I've met wants him to run as an independent. His supporters may persuade him to at least register as a write in, if he needs to. I don't even know if he is already registered, or what, which is what my question is about. Commented May 9, 2016 at 2:29
  • If Hillary gets indicted, then she would withdraw from the race and another candidate would be given the nomination.
    – Brythan
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 3:26
  • @Brythan …such as Bernie Sanders…
    – gerrit
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 15:47
  • 1
    Possibly. My point is that there's no need to run a write-in campaign if Hillary is indicted. That's actually his best path to the nomination at this point.
    – Brythan
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 17:31

3 Answers 3


Bernie Sanders cannot be a write in candidate after the primaries are concluded. The filing deadlines to run as an independent candidate for many states has already passed. Likewise, sore loser laws prevent losing primary candidates from running as independents after the primary has concluded - this is the same reason why Charlie Christ dropped out before the Republican primary vote for FL-Gov back in 2010 to run as an independent.


I believe that in the states requiring registration, Bernie would need to do so at least 1 month before the election. However, the deadlines to run as an Independent have or are about to pass. (July 31, first week of August).

Note that running as Independent and as a write-in candidate are not the same thing.

So, to answer more clearly, he probably does not have time to run as Independent, but he does have time to become a write-in. I also do NOT believe that running in the primary already qualifies or registers him as a write-in but that would be awesome if it did. I will research that...


I served as national field director for the Bernie Write-In campaign in 2016 and he received (an all-time record) 575,000+ votes, good enough for sixth place in the general election.

There is no reason he cannot receive Write-In votes in 2020, operating under something called the 'without his consent/against his will' Theory. This will, in fact, work just fine in twelve states that guarantee to count every last single Bernie vote: Alabama; New Hampshire; Vermont; Rhode Island; Oregon; Wyoming; Washington state; Wisconsin; New Jersey; Iowa; Pennsylvania; and the District of Columbia (not a state, but they still vote).

  • Can't see why this is attracting the downvotes. I've edited to remove the "argumentative" first line. The rest seems like an answer to me
    – James K
    Commented Oct 24, 2020 at 10:32
  • 1
    @JamesK: The question explicitly asks for "credible sources so that we can know for sure". This post doesn't list any source at all. I didn't downvote, but I also don't consider this a very helpful answer either.
    – Schmuddi
    Commented Oct 24, 2020 at 14:27

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