STATEMENT from Office of the Secretary of State, Maryland

Presidential Primary Ballot Placement in Maryland

Statement Regarding the 2008 Presidential Primary Election

In Maryland, there are two ways that a U.S. Presidential candidate may have his or her name placed on the primary election ballot. The first method is a determination by the Secretary of State as provided by Election Law Article, §8-502 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. It specifically provides that "[t]he Secretary of State shall certify the name of a presidential candidate on the ballot when the Secretary has determined, in the Secretary's sole discretion and consistent with party rules, that the candidate's candidacy is generally advocated or recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in Maryland. . ."

As an initial determination, the Secretary of State will employ the following policy in selecting candidates for the primary ballot:

A candidate who is invited to and participates in any of the following presidential debates will appear as a candidate on the Maryland primary election ballot unless the candidate requests by affidavit that his or her name be withdrawn:

Democratic Party
September 26, 2007 – Hanover, New Hampshire
October 30, 2007 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 15, 2007 – Las Vegas, Nevada

Republican Party
October 14, 2007 – Manchester, New Hampshire
October 21, 2007 – Orlando, Florida
November 6, 2007 – Ames, Iowa

Other individuals who believe they should be added to the primary election ballot based on media recognition should provide the Secretary of State's Office sufficient documentation from multiple print and/or broadcast media outlets about their candidacy for U.S. President.

The second method for a U.S. Presidential candidate to be placed on the primary election ballot is through the petition process. This is for Presidential candidates who have not obtained a sufficient level of media recognition to be selected by the Secretary of State. The law states in Election Law Article, §8-502(b)(2) and (d)(1) that a candidate for the office of President shall submit to the State Board of Elections a petition containing the signatures of not less than 400 registered voters from each congressional district. An individual seeking to be placed on the primary election ballot by the petition process should review the filing procedures and forms available on the State Board of Elections’ website ( under “Petition”).