What are the limits for being on the ballots in US National and state elections?

Is there any constitutional reason preventing a large number of presidential candidates and their parties, along with their parties' Congressional candidates, named on the ballots in the national elections?  If so then what are they?

What about ballots for the state and local offices?  (probably varies by state)

LVL 18
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
If you are talking about seeing a lot of candidates on the presidential ballot, the primary limitation is in the states where they require something to show that they are valid candidates, not just someone who wants their name on the ballot.

Here http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_signature_requirements is a page on some California requirements though requirements for presidential candidate is not listed.  It has quite a few links to other states and more info.

And is a federal page http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_candidate.shtml
First thing you should understand is that there is no Constitutional requirement for names of Presidential candidates to be on any pre-printed ballots at all nor is there any Constitutional intention for such ballots. There is only one election at the Federal level, and less than two out of every million Americans are intended to participate in it. That Election is defined in Article II, Section 1, and more specifically Amendment XII of the Constitution.

The control of that Election process has, IMO, been handed over to the two major political parties. Again IMO, it no longer fulfills its purpose and even subverts it due to its ties to the parties. (Finally IMO, the Office of the President ought to be nonpartisan by Constitutional mandate.)

Because there is no general federal election for President, there can be no Constitutional ballot requirement other than which each State chooses for itself to determine that State's Electors. The current status is that each State chooses qualifications for itself and causes qualified candidate names to be printed on that States general ballots. The distribution of votes for candidates in each State is the primary determining factor for the choosing of Electors from each State. The chosen Electors then cast their ballots for President and Vice President.

Technically, we never know how any particular Elector votes. We only know aggregate totals by State. (I'd love to see some competent Electors vote for the good of the country some day.)


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
WaterStreetAuthor Commented:
Both are good answers for me.  Kept you waiting longer than I wanted, sorry.

Look for my next (discussion style) question where I hope to apply this info.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.