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November 2, 2004
How Presidential Candidates Gain Access to the General Election Ballots
| Qualified Party
Candidates: Maine has three qualified political parties: the Democratic
Party, the Green Independent Party and the Republican Party. The qualified
parties choose their nominees for President and Vice President at the
national nominating convention of their political party. The candidates
for Presidential Elector are chosen at the State Party Convention. After
the national nominating convention, each party will make an official communication
from the National or State Party Committee to the Secretary of State of
their party's nominees for President, Vice President and Presidential
Electors. The names of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates
are placed on the ballot, along with their party name.
Non-party Candidates: All candidates other than those from the Democratic, Green Independent and Republican Party are considered non-party candidates. These candidates gain access to the ballot by circulating nominating petitions containing the names of the Presidential, Vice Presidential and Presidential Elector candidates as a slate of offices to be nominated. The petitions may be circulated between January 1 and August 15 of the presidential election year. To be nominated, the candidates' petitions must contain the signatures of between 4,000 and 6,000 registered Maine voters (who may be enrolled in a political party or who may be unenrolled). The deadline for these petitions to be submitted to the Secretary of State in 2004 is August 16th, as the statutory deadline falls on a Sunday.
Write-in Candidates: A write-in candidate for President must meet the requirements for a write-in candidate as provided in Maine's election laws. For more information on write-in candidates, please click on this link: Write-in Candidate Information and Declaration Forms.