October 18th, 2007
08:50 AM ET
10 years ago

Can Colbert actually get on the ballot?

Watch Colbert discuss his political aspirations with CNN's Larry King.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - He made a splash with a surprise presidential announcement Tuesday, but can Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert actually get on the primary ballots in South Carolina?

The answer is yes, although it could get pricey.

The fee to be considered for the Democratic ballot is $2,500, while it’s a hefty $35,000 to gain admittance into the Republican primary.

Colbert has indicated he will seek to appear on each party's ballot and the South Carolina Secretary of State's office confirms a candidate is allowed to run in both primaries.

But it remains to be seen if the State Democratic Party's Executive Committee, whose approval Colbert needs to get on their ballot, will vote to certify a candidate who is also running in the GOP race. The rules state the candidate must be "actively campaigning" for the Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, the State Republican Party does not require an executive committee vote and would not prevent a candidate from appearing on both ballots.

Colbert has until the end of this month to file with both parties. The Republicans are holding their primary January 19, while the Democrats will vote January 26.

The Palmetto State is one of four lead-off primary states that will likely play a crucial role in determining the eventual nominee of both parties.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: South Carolina • Stephen Colbert
soundoff (169 Responses)
  1. Christian, Tampa FL

    Also, let it be noted that Stephen Colbert was, ironically, born in Washington, D.C.

    He grew up in Charleston.

    October 17, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Larry D. , San Diego Ca.

    Im showing my age, but Pat Paulsen is a comedian from the 60s and 70s who ran independently for President many times. There's always one nut who wants attention and publicity.

    October 17, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Joy, Reno NV

    Politics have been a joke since Nov. 2, 2004 anyway.

    October 17, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Jennifer, Alexandria Ky

    As far as our choices go, he's the best one in my opinion. I would like to think there is a highly qualified, educated, honest person who would run. This is the only ticket that comes close to furfilling those requirements. This could get interesting.

    October 17, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. xtina - chicago IL

    Im sorry I came over here to see more threads about stuff that have NOTHING to do with who is the best person for President. Can you please start putting topics that actually invite discussion about important issues such as national security, taxes, illegal immigration, gun crime, improving our student scores, cutting federal departments.

    October 17, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. Matt S. , Stockton , Ca.

    If people vote for Stephen Colbert, do they know they're voting for a character not a real person ?! Hello !

    October 17, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. Bill, Albany, NY

    To the poster who said Colbert is only a character and not a real person... You do know that all the other candidates are putting on an act to get your vote right? At least you know what you get with Colbert, and hey, he can't be any worse than what we have now (or what could have with basically anyone else running).

    October 17, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. matt

    Looks like he needs to pony up some serious cash-money. But the parties surely won't actually let him on the ballot. That would just diminish the entire process, making it inot a childish game...wait...never mind.


    October 17, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. Jeff from Jersey

    Things in this world have become SO SERIOUS that it wouldn't hurt to laugh every once in awhile.Colbert's "candidacy" is humorous,it's the unbelievable reactionary posts on this topic that are truly scary.No wonder this country is so screwed up.The politicians are bad enough but it the hysterical voters that have been posting so many ludicrous responses that are REALLY responsible for the sad state of affairs in the end.GET A GRIP PEOPLE OR IT'S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE!

    October 17, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  10. bernard parsons, columbus, oh

    colbert has never had his pockets lined by any company but time warner (or whoever owns comedy central) and he's not been part of the political process long enough to just pass off lobbying and pleasing corporate interests as necessary. he's better than any of the other candidates for that reason alone

    October 17, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. Bijan N, Philadelphia, PA

    To those who call Colbert stupid, note that he graduated from Northwestern, the 14th-ranked college in America, tied with Brown, no less.

    And have you ever heard the man talk out of character? Very articulate and knowledgeable, which I think is great compared to Giuliani, whose vocabulary doesnt extend beyond "9/11" and "terrah", and Fred Thompson, who doesnt even show up most of the time.

    October 17, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. William Berryhill, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    Ron Paul / Stephen Colbert "08 - They will definitely have my vote!!

    October 17, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Will Affleck-Asch, Seattle, WA


    Not as both GOP and Democratic party!

    Seriously, even Ron Paul is more leftwing than Steven Colbert, he should stick on his side of the pond.

    October 17, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. PollM, Dallas Tx

    "I'd let the people decide what party I belong in," he said. "I don't dictate the people's actions."
    So what party should candidate Stephen Colbert belong to? ----> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=731


    October 17, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. Susan, NC via LA

    i could see democrats being stupid enough to think he's a real person and vote for him, but republicans are smarter, so it won't deflect any votes there. So, i say , GO COLBERT !
    Posted By ronnie – knoxville, tn. : October 17, 2007 6:56 pm

    Ronnie, who do you think Colbert's viewing audience is? It's a satirical show with the host playing the character of a hardcore conservative pundit. I would think it more likely that a Republican would tune in, thinking Colbert was serious!

    October 17, 2007 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Brian, Orlando, Florida

    Colbert for President 2008, Republican!

    October 17, 2007 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. Disgusted, Austin, TX

    I'll write him in if he doesn't make the ballot. We need real people running this country, people who think for themselves.

    October 17, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  18. Jay, Everett, WA

    If Arnold can do it in California, and that wrestler in Minnesota, I don't see why Stephen couldn't win in South Carolina.

    October 17, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. amanda, melbourne, fl

    "Stephen makes the jokes, Bush is the joke. The lesser evil."

    lmao. campaign bumper sticker?

    October 17, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. Jim Hartfield, Ironton, OH

    I'll vote for you Stephen!!!

    October 17, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. Lynn Ensley McCaysville, Ga.

    Mr. Colbert, you need to go to Florida and sign in, you could get the Harris wench to help you, along with the other faction of this corrupt family. One clown replacing another, yes that would work, but you gotta pretend to be a peacemaker and a christian at first, then anything goes. Incidentally, you gotta learn to spell Halliburton too. Also, we need to move up the date for the election to Nov. 1, '07 unless you want the supreme court to decide again. I would wish you luck friend, but I need to hang on to mine, I don't feel so safe anymore. Si Amigo?

    October 17, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. L. Harrell, Port Allen, LA

    He is mocking a system in need of mocking. Go Stephen!

    October 17, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. MrEd, Shelton, CT

    Gracie Allen, of "Burns and Allen" fame, ran for president in 1932 under the Surprise Party, so this is hardly the first time something like this has been done.

    For his running mate Steven should have the "brown haired guy who's not Steve Duecy" from Fox and Friends

    October 17, 2007 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  24. Patricia Rae, El Paso, TX

    "i could see democrats being stupid enough to think he's a real person and vote for him, but republicans are smarter, so it won't deflect any votes there. So, i say , GO COLBERT!"

    Ummm–actually, he is a real person. Flesh, blood, the whole thing. Now, as for Republicans being so much smarter, have you watched Colbert interview members of Congress? Like the guy from Georgia who wants the Ten Commandments plastered all over every public building. Colbert merely said to him, "What are they? Can you recite them?" That Republican Congressman was sweating bullets as he attempted to name one or two.

    By the way, Pat Paulsen has been dead for a number of years, so all who are referring to him in present tense are a little behind on the news.

    October 17, 2007 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  25. E Seals, Flossmoor, Il 60422

    To run with both parties is awful. The presidency is serious business. This is not COMEDY.

    October 17, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
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