Missouri Secretary of State Releases List of Presidential Write-in Candidates

Ballot Access News

On October 31, the Missouri Secretary of State determined that four write-in presidential candidates will have their write-ins counted. They are Tom Hoefling, Laurence Kotlikoff, Evan McMullin, and Marshall Schoenke.

Presidential candidates on the Missouri ballot are Darrell Castle, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Donald Trump.

Rocky De La Fuente filed as a write-in, and his paperwork was approved, but he is still being told that his write-ins won’t be counted because he ran in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. However, the Missouri sore loser law does not apply to presidential candidates. The statute, 115.453, only bars candidates who ran in a primary and “were not nominated.” This language cannot refer to a presidential primary, because no candidate for president is ever nominated in a single state’s primary. Furthermore, in 2012, Gary Johnson ran in the Republican presidential primary in Missouri, and he was still allowed to be on the November 2012 ballot as the Libertarian nominee.

The Secretary of State’s office says, in its defense, that section 115.453 was amended in 2014 by House Bill 1136. However, the 2014 amendment did not amend that part of 115.453 that deals with sore losers. The only part of 115.453 that was amended in 2014 was the addition of the words “distinguishing mark” to replace the words “cross (X)”. I attempted to point this out to the Secretary of State’s office, but was unable to reach any person; the main number only provided a voice mail.

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