Write-in warning to prevent wasted votes


ILLINOIS — The election is less than a week away and many are still undecided about their vote. But, county clerks warn people about consequences for those who choose to write-in a candidate.

People can write in whomever they want, but only if that person has signed up. A candidate needs to qualified and certified to be placed on the ballot.

County clerks have lists of those who are and urge undecided voters to make a real choice. With the attacks from candidates, some people could react by not wanting to vote for either major party.

“Neither Trump or Hillary have my vote. Even the other two, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, never had my vote to begin with.”

But, if those candidates don’t pique your interest, you do have write-in options.

“The reality is that both of these candidates are so deeply corrupt and so deeply unfit for the presidency that someone had to step in.”

So, if you’re going to write in a candidate, then you have to make sure the person is real.

“We have a list of bills, write-in candidates, with the election judges. Any individual voter can request that list and bring it to the booth with them.”

Those who choose to write-in a fictional character or friend, expect your vote to be invalid.

“If they want to vote for someone who’s not certified, we respect their opinion, but unfortunately, that particular vote won’t be counted.”

Candidates have to file their intent to be a write-in in each of the state’s election jurisdictions and the deadline to do it has already passed.

“They have to fill out appropriate paperwork with the election authority in advance of a certain deadline to qualify for the ballot.”

Now, some people say the choices could be hard, but people should never waste a vote.

“Well, to be honest, I really don’t think neither, but even thought they don’t sue someone, I think like, that I said, they should help the experience of the future.”

For the major races, like presidential, congressional and senate, there are options for write-in candidates. Only 43 states allow write-in candidates for the president.

Eight states don’t require a write-in to register, while 35 require a write-in candidate to submit some kind of form. Nine states, including Arkansas and Hawaii, do not allow write-in ballots. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.