California Code, Elections Code - ELEC § 13

(a) A person shall not be considered a legally qualified candidate for an office, for party nomination for a partisan office, or for nomination to participate in the general election for a voter-nominated office, under the laws of this state unless that person has filed a declaration of candidacy or statement of write-in candidacy with the proper official for the particular election or primary, or is entitled to have his or her name placed on a general election ballot by reason of having been nominated at a primary election, or having been selected to fill a vacancy on the general election ballot as provided in Section 8807 , or having been selected as an independent candidate pursuant to Section 8304 .

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing or prohibiting any qualified voter of this state from casting a ballot for a person by writing the name of that person on the ballot, or from having that ballot counted or tabulated, nor shall this section be construed as preventing or prohibiting a person from standing or campaigning for an elective office by means of a “write-in” campaign.  However, nothing in this section shall be construed as an exception to the requirements of Section 15341 or to permit a person to be a write-in candidate contrary to Sections 8600 and 8606 .

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this section, to enable the Federal Communications Commission to determine who is a “legally qualified candidate” in this state for the purposes of administering Section 315 of Title 47 of the United States Code .

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