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. Rob, Potomac, MD

    Whether he'd make a good pres or not, he will bring the attention of many to the election process not unlike Clinton did when he went on MTV while campaigning and that is a good thing for democracy.

    October 18, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  2. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    After seven years of a sick joke, why not a comedian.

    October 18, 2007 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  3. Chris Haynes, Winston-Salem, NC

    "but republicans are smarter"

    Hey Ronnie,
    I'm guessing you are a Republican; therefore, your argument is crushed.

    Mike from Cleveland put it best, "Stop being serious about politics for once and learn to laugh."

    This country would be a much better place if everyone would quit whining about their own special interests.

    October 18, 2007 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. Steve, Charleston SC

    The latter.

    October 18, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  5. Chris, Middletown, CT

    First off....this is a gag...Steven Colbert is a character he plays....and secondly – very telling about the differences between the Dems and the Republicans – Republicans want the best candidate – and Democrats want "The rules state the candidate must be "actively campaigning" for the Democratic primary" -well..and theres the whole grandstanding – and pretending they didn't vote for the Iraq war and fund it deal too....

    October 18, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  6. Nate Wynn Harrisonburg VA

    I would vote for him

    October 18, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  7. Jay, Worcester, MA

    The first poster made an excellent point. Who will he run as? For now, he's running as his character and this is a PR stunt. But what if he won? What if he started gaining traction? I suspect he'd start to take it serious... But would he continue to play his character, or would the real Stephen Colbert (not a conversative) appear?

    October 18, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  8. therealist

    This is nothing but a plubicity stunt.
    If he were serious, he would run as an independent. Of course the dems would then begin spewing their liberal hate at him as a spoiler..

    October 18, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Has everyone not figured out that Colbert is joking?

    October 18, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  10. Eli, Deland FL

    You are all stupid for even thinking for ONE SECOND that Colbert would actually go through with this..my god people he was joking on Larry King and on Tuesday's daily show he said he was "considering" considering running for JUST South Carolina...ya'll take yourselves way to seriously.

    October 18, 2007 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  11. Jen, Albany, NY

    I'm voting for Steven Colbert. I already know no one cares what I think, I may as well vote for someone with a sense of humor about life.

    October 18, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  12. Rod, Charlotte, NC

    If he won the nomination he would actually go forward with it. There is no doubt in my mind that Colbert would be an excellent president. We need someone intelligent in office and someone who is not a washington insider is just what the American People need.

    October 18, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. Mark. Shreveport, LA

    It's nice to see so many people treating democracy and politics as a joke.

    October 18, 2007 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  14. Prof.(Emer.) John Austin Kerr, Jr., De Kalb, IL

    Yes! Both parties are SO bad for the country, the good, sensible people of ALL political parties need to get together and chase all the entrenched rats and idiots out of public life. So, yes, vote REPDEM, or DEMOREP! But let's just call it the UNION party or something like that and GET TO WORK!

    October 18, 2007 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  15. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    My Diebold voting machine won't LET me vote for Colbert.

    October 18, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  16. Anne, Apalachin, NY

    Did you ever laugh so hard when all you really wanted to do was cry?

    It is magnificent Stephen Colbert is running for President. As a nation, we must embrace comic diversity and cease to be annoyed by freedom of speech. If anyone can expose the sad situation of American politics, I am confident Mr. Colbert is absolutely the only man for the job.

    Humor aside, I hope Mr. Colbert and his followers also contemplate the serious responsibility of their “Vote”. It is not improbable that the bad guys win in the race for world power and domination because of our foolishness today. There are mad men, bad men, truly, truly bad mad men, in this world seeking absolute power to dictate. Hitler and Stalin were not imaginary friends. Bin Laden, Putin, and Ahmadinejad wait…and who knows what the Chinese are planning? American death and destruction by importation may be next. The President of the United States should be the greatest leader on earth, but we have elected a real joke...a marginal, intellectually challenged hand puppet for the wealthy and entitled...or those who think they should be entitled (no offense to Stephen Colbert Number 2).

    I hope Mr. Colbert rips open the farce of our election process with his campaign and forces citizens to look at whom they vote for and why. I hope we get a good laugh at his campaign because we truly need to laugh out loud at our past mistakes, but never repeat them. When it comes time to vote, vote as if your freedom, as if your life depends on it... because it does.

    Good Luck Mr. Colbert. I hope you get the highest television and news exposure in the history of the world...but not a single vote. Voting is just too important. Come back as a candidate when American politics is no longer a water cooler joke and people worldwide once again respect the Presidency of the United States. Maybe by then, Americans won't be afraid to elect leaders who can actually think and speak at the same time.

    ...and deliver us from evil...Amen.

    October 18, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  17. Daniel, Atlanta GA

    Whatever his real intentions are, this will throw an enormous monkeywrench into the shameless farce that is American democracy, and I support it 100%.

    October 18, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  18. Jeremy, Tipp City, Ohio

    There is no way he can make it on the democratic ballot. He is a complete idiot when it comes to politics and government. He has no to even consider doing this.

    October 18, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. david knowles

    Potential Colbert running mate, Mike Huckabee, says we shouldn't have sex. It could kill us.


    October 18, 2007 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Raymond Daugherty

    SO let me get this right, people have an issue with Americas greatest stepchild, Stephen Colbert? Who else is better qualified to run for a political office than someone who REPORTS ON POLITICS DAILY? Even though he has his jokes (and admittedly writers for those jokes), he still has to follow politics in a rather in-depth way in order to do his current job correctly. The only person that would get my vote before Stephen is Jon Stewart. So a tip of the hat for Stephen, and a wag of the finger to people who think running for political office is alway a joke.

    October 18, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    The guy is a comedian. So, come on Colbert, why don't you run as a man and a woman?

    October 18, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Joe, Bronx, NY

    REMINDER: GWB was a C student, who drank and did hard drugs all through college.

    October 18, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Jacob M, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Stephen Colbert is the only candidate that actually stick out. This will be an interesting couple of months. I cant wait to see if he can gain enough steam heading into the election. COLBERT 08'!!!

    October 18, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Sandra Arkansas

    I can't believe the people who don't think comedy belongs in politics. We knowingly elect the person that lies most effectively and dodges the most hot topics. We elect people who raise the most campaign funds from lobbyists who expect something in return. Colbert may be a character but at that's out on the table. Politicians are just characters that aren't as good at it or as funny. Why not give an average guy a chance? I consider the fact that he hasn't been in congress a plus. Maybe his first bill won't be to give himself a raise.

    October 18, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. Victoria Prater, Kansas City, KS

    Sweet. I was going to write him in and vote for him anyway.

    October 18, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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