Sunday, March 15, 2009

Letters...we get letters!

Dear SP-EYE,

I was wondering if it would be possible for you to post on your website the instructions for voting for a write in candidate? I am a somewhat visual person, so anything with pictures would be great. Since this is not an every day occurrence, write in's, a few instructions might prove beneficial to me and others in our community who follow the news on your website. Thank you.

Loyal Reader
Sun Prairie

Dear Loyal Reader...

Thanks for asking. A lot of folks have been asking this same question, so it's a good one to get out there.

Step 1 is easy (but most important)...simply connect the "arrow" next to one of the two blank lines that have "(write-in") at the end of them.

Step 2 is (potentially) the hard part....knowing the name of the candidate you wish to "write-in". Historically there are always a few votes for "Mickey Mouse" or "Donald Duck". It's best to know the correct spelling of the name of the individual you wish to write-in.

Rest assured, however, that the law clearly says that as long as the INTENT of voter is clear, the vote should be properly counted for a given write-in candidate. Therefore, if John Doe is running as a write-in candidate,

  • writing "John Doe" would be best

  • writing "Doe" or "J. Doe" should be sufficient to declare the voter's intent.

  • writing simply "John" is ill advised, since an argument could be made that it is unclear which John the voter intended.

Remember: At most you can only connect THREE arrows for the 2009 school board election!

A good resource that explains the process for counting (or not) write-in votes:
"Counting Votes" (State Elections Board publication)