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Write-In Candidates

Every election, in every year, some voters decide that the candidates they see printed on their ballot are just not to their liking.

Those are times when people choose to go with a “write-in” candidate rather than the common candidates.

It has happened many times in political history when a write-in candidate has won their race and of course gone on to be very successful. In Southern political history, one of the most notable write-in candidate winners  was when Strom Thurmond won the race for one of South Carolina’s US Senate seats in 1954 without having his name on the formal ballot.

Alabama like many other states allows for write-in candidates as well.

When you receive your ballot, you will see a blank line just below the designated candidates for each party in each race. If you want to write in a candidate, go right ahead.

If you’re voting for someone who is running a write-in campaign, be sure to spell the person’s name correctly. If you don’t, your ballot will not receive the benefit of the doubt and the vote will be counted for the “person” with the misspelled name.

(Sidenote: It will be interesting to see how that plays out in the Alaska race for US Senator. Lisa Murkowski is not an easy name to spell)

Many people also like to use the ballot as a time to play a joke or two on elections staff. But remember, only the names of real people will be counted.

“Bear Bryant always gets a lot of votes, I think he may have even finished very high in one race one year,” says Trey Granger, Director of Elections for Montgomery County.

“In a year like this, who knows?” Granger says jokingly. Cam Newton could win both the Heisman and a state seat somewhere. Mark Ingram will probably get votes too.”

As a matter of fact, people have written in the name ” Donald Duck,” not just because of the cartoon, but there was at one point someone actually named Donald Duck who lived in Alabama.

Montgomery County has about 750 staff working on election night and they are prepared for write-in votes. Many voting tabulators in Alabama have equipment where “normal” ballots fall into one stack, and ballots with write-ins fall into another stack. That way, elections staff can easily access the ballots with writing on them, not just ones with filled in bubbles.

5 Responses to “Write-In Candidates”

  1. But does it not violate the Constitutional rights of the teachers to prohibit them from participating in Christian based activities at school?????…and prohibiting them to pray???????? THe separation of church & state is discriminating and is not constitutionally correct in prohibiting the free exercise of religion for teachers and administrators! FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF!!!!!!!!!! In other words if you want to be a teacher, you can NOT by law enjoy the first amendment rights of freedom of religion! This is in direct conflict with the U.S. Constitution! Has a teacher ever challenged this in court? If they haven’t, THEY SHOULD!

  2. watching these canidates advertizements sounds like NONE of them are worth a darn. maybe we need all new people and do a FBI back-ground chech before they get on the ballet?

  3. If you want to be taken seriously Bobo please use spell check you can set it up automatically on your computer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Why don’t we have just a list of 3rd party people to write in? You can’t find any other party on the ballot or a list of . We need a Alabama constitutional Ammendment for “NONE OF THE ABOVE”. That way I can vote a straight ticket.

    As for the Alabama religious nuts, I think you people have been in charge long enough.

    “THe separation of church & state is discriminating and is not constitutionally correct in prohibiting the free exercise of religion for teachers and administrators!”

    Then just quit that job, That job is not a right, and you work for us. So keep your crazy ass opinions to yourself or get another job.

    If there really were a “god” why would he allow people to oppose you? I thought he was all seeing and knowing? Why doesn’t he strike me down when I tell you you are a nut job and religion is a crutch and control mechanism? You know why? Because it’s all made up, it nutty, it’s not real.

    You are only for your freedom, not everyones, so I could care less what you think.

  5. Wrong! A misspelled name will NOT be counted unless that person has registered as a candidate with the Sec of State at least 90 days in advance of the election, so if Cam Newton has a write in from every voter in the State, he could not win. Also, “It has happened many times in political history when a write-in candidate has won….” is true but misleading, as usual. It has NEVER happened in Alabama because of the stranglehold the Repub and Demo machines have placed on ballot access. Can’t FOX ever tell the true story?