Ballot Access in New York

vote1Information from NASS, National Association of Secretaries of State:

This document provides a summary of the laws in each state relevant to the placement of a candidate for president on the general election ballot, and the requirements for a presidential candidate to run as a write-in candidate. Generally a presidential candidate nominated by a political party that meets certain criteria is placed on the general election ballot. This criteria is often based on a threshold number of votes cast at a recent election for a particular office or offices. A number of states provide an alternative mechanism for an organization to qualify in order to nominate candidates, for example by filing a petition or having a certain number of voters affiliated with the organization. Additionally, all states have a procedure for independent candidates, and in some cases individual presidential candidates of a political organization, to obtain ballot access. Most states also permit a presidential candidate to be a write-in candidate, and many of these states require that the candidate file a notice prior to the election.

The summary for each state includes the timeframes for certifying the names of the candidates for president and vice-president and the names of the presidential electors; the requirements for a political party to be eligible to nominate a presidential candidate; the number of signatures required on a petition in order for a presidential candidate to obtain ballot access; a description of any additional ballot access methods where applicable; and the timeframes required for filing a notice in order to be a write-in candidate for president.

It is important to note that the information in this document is based on a NASS review of relevant state ballot access requirements. This document is intended to provide a general overview of these requirements. It is not intended as an interpretation of those laws, or as a procedure guide or manual for political parties or prospective candidates with regard to presidential ballot access. States have a variety of filings and other requirements pertaining to political parties, presidential candidates, presidential electors, and petitions. Additionally, ballot access laws may change at any time based on new state laws and/or court decisions. Candidates and political parties should contact the relevant state election office and/or legal counsel for information on the specific rules and requirements for each state. Additionally, where political parties nominate a candidate, the nomination process varies greatly based on the state, the legal status of each party, and the rules and procedures of each party. Individuals should contact the political parties for information on the party nomination process.

New York

Political Party Nomination

  • A presidential candidate nominated by a political party may be placed on the general election ballot. Political parties must certify to the state board of elections no later than 14 days after the fall primary election the names of the nominees for presidential electors.
  • A political party is any political organization whose candidate for governor at the last preceding election for that office received at least 50,000 votes.


  • An independent presidential candidate may obtain ballot access for the general election by filing with the state board of elections no later than 11 weeks prior to the election a petition containing 15,000 signatures, with at least 100 signatures coming from each of ½ of the congressional districts in the state. The petition must include the names of the presidential electors. The candidate must file an acknowledgment of acceptance of the nomination no later than the 3rd day after the last day to file the petition.


  • A write-in candidate for president must file a certificate of candidacy and a list of presidential electors with the state board of elections no later than the third Tuesday before the general election.

(N.Y. Election Law §§ 1-104, 6-102, 6-142, 6-146, 6-153, 6-158)

A great deal of useful information about state election laws is available on the NASS website:

The provision for an individual to obtain a line on the ballot was useful to Otto Campanella in his successful campaign for Elmira City Court judge.  Running as the candidate of his newly created party, he defeated both the Republican and Democratic Party candidates.

Candidate Art Laurey, running for Chemung County Sheriff, failed to obtain a line on the ballot when enough signatures on his petitions were challenged and invalidated to thwart his effort. As no Democrat ran for Sheriff, Laurey, who may not be registered as a Democrat, could have asked for a Wilson-Paukula to run as a Democrat. Perhaps he did and was refused. In the end he ran a write-in campaign with predictable results.

© William Hungerford – January 2014

2012 NASS Surveys & Reports

Summary of State Laws Regarding Presidential Ballot Access for the General Election

  • Released: September 2012

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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