Write-In Policy

Declaration of Intent

115.453(4). Procedure for counting write-in votes for candidates.


Write-in votes shall be counted only for candidates for election to office who have filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for election to office with the proper election authority, who shall then notify the proper filing officer of the write-in candidate prior to 5:00 p.m. on the second Friday immediately preceding the election day; except that, write-in votes shall be counted only for candidates for election to state or federal office who have filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for election to state or federal office with the secretary of state pursuant to section 115.353 prior to 5:00 p.m. on the second Friday immediately preceding the election day. No person who filed as a party or independent candidate for nomination or election to an office may, without withdrawing as provided by law, file as a write-in candidate for election to the same office for the same term. No candidate who files for nomination to an office and is not nominated at a primary election may file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for the same office at the general election. When declarations are properly filed with the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall promptly transmit copies of all such declarations to the proper election authorities for further action pursuant to this section. The election authority shall furnish a list to the election judges and counting teams prior to election day of all write-in candidates who have filed such declaration. This subdivision shall not apply to elections wherein candidates are being elected to an office for which no candidate has filed. No person shall file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for election to any municipal office unless such person is qualified to be certified as a candidate under section 115.346.



115.355. Declarations of candidacy to be filed in person by candidate, exceptions.


1. Except as provided in subsections 2 and 5 of this section and in section 115.377, each declaration of candidacy for nomination in a primary election shall be filed by the candidate in person in the office of the appropriate election official.


2. A candidate may file his declaration of candidacy by certified mail if he is:

(1) Unable to appear in person because of physical disability, and the declaration is accompanied by a sworn statement of a licensed physician so stating; or

(2) A member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty, and the declaration is accompanied by a sworn statement of the candidate's commanding officer so stating.

3. Except as provided in section 115.377, no election official shall accept for filing any declaration of candidacy for nomination in a primary election not presented to him by the candidate in person or which, if sent by certified mail pursuant to subsection 2 of this section, is not accompanied by the statement required in the same subsection.


4. Election officials shall require proof of identity of persons when filing declarations of candidacy in person and when filing by mail as provided in subsection 2 or 5 of this section.


5. Any judge seeking retention under sections 25(a) to 25(g) of article V of the Missouri Constitution may file his declaration of candidacy for election to succeed himself by certified mail.