I can’t find the protocol for this situation. If a write in candidate wins the presidency how is the vice president chosen?

1 Answer 1


A voter can't write in a candidate for the United States presidency. What happens is the voter writes in an elector (or more commonly a slate of electors). Each elector gets votes for both the presidency and the vice-presidency. So presumably the elector votes for the candidate's choice.

Of course, in some places they use a shorthand where the slate of electors is represented by the name of the candidate. But even there, the effect would be (since it's never happened) to elect the candidate's slate of electors rather than the candidate directly.

  • For a hypothetical Q. "it's never happened" is not an answer, it's a restatement. Suppose 100% of the public writes in the same name, which for the sake of argument is a unique and unambiguous name.
    – agc
    Jun 30, 2019 at 14:36
  • @agc That seems rather disingenuous. I state that if it would happen (never has yet), a slate of electors would be chosen rather than a candidate. I've reread my statement several times and it's not ambiguous. It's as if you read just three words of my statement and ignored the rest.
    – Brythan
    Jun 30, 2019 at 15:08
  • Yes there are electors, but that's an intermediate step, not the end goal of selecting a VP. What this answer needs is to describe what might reasonably be expected to occur after that intermediate step.
    – agc
    Jun 30, 2019 at 17:44
  • The same thing as happens after that intermediate step in every other presidential election. The electors vote on a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate. Which I said in the first paragraph.
    – Brythan
    Jun 30, 2019 at 18:06
  • Well, the first para says voters can't write in candidates, then says electors presumably vote in the candidate's choice. If the votes are all write-ins, then who is "the candidate"? That is, do the electors honor the write-ins, or pick a ballot listed candidate, (who given the 100% premise would then be the least popular person ever to hold office)?
    – agc
    Jun 30, 2019 at 18:13

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