Write-in candidate

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A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name. The system is almost totally confined to elections in the United States. Some U.S. states and local jurisdictions allow a voter to affix a sticker with a write-in candidate's name on it to the ballot in lieu of actually writing in the candidate's name. Write-in candidacies are sometimes a result of a candidate being legally or procedurally ineligible to run under his or her own name or party. In some cases, write-in campaigns have been organized to support a candidate who is not personally involved in running; this may be a form of draft campaign.

Write-in candidates rarely win, and votes are often cast for ineligible people or fictional characters. Some jurisdictions require write-in candidates be registered as official candidates before the election.[1] This is standard in elections with a large pool of potential candidates, as there may be multiple candidates with the same name that could be written in.

Many U.S. states and municipalities allow for write-in votes in a partisan primary election where no candidate is listed on the ballot to have the same functional effect as nominating petitions: for example, if there are no Reform Party members on the ballot for state general assembly and a candidate receives more than 200 write-in votes when the primary election is held (or the other number of signatures that were required for ballot access), the candidate will be placed on the ballot on that ballot line for the general election. In most places, this provision is in place for non-partisan elections as well.

United States[edit source | edit]

Generally, write-in candidates can compete in any election within the United States. In 2010, California voters pass Proposition 14 which set up a new election system for the United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, all statewide offices (governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, state controller, attorney general, insurance commissioner and superintendent of public instruction), California Board of Equalization, and for the California State Legislature. In the system set up by Proposition 14, there are two rounds of voting, and the top two vote-getters for each race in the first round face advance to a second round. Proposition 14 specifically prohibits write-in candidates in the second round, and this prohibition was upheld in a court challenge[2]

Typically, write-in candidates have a very small chance of winning, but there have been some strong showings by write-in candidates over the years.

Presidential primaries[edit source | edit]

Senate[edit source | edit]

House of Representatives[edit source | edit]

State legislatures[edit source | edit]

Local government[edit source | edit]

Others[edit source | edit]

Other countries[edit source | edit]

With a few exceptions, the practice of recognizing write-in candidates is typically viewed internationally as an American tradition.[40][41]

As a protest vote[edit source | edit]

Popular culture[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ See, for example, Section 1-4-1101, Colorado Revised Statutes (2008)
  2. ^ Hagan Cain, Robyn (Sept 21, 2011). "Court Upholds Prop 14 Bans on Write-In Votes, Unqualified Parties". 
  3. ^ New Hampshire Almanac >First-in-the-Nation
  4. ^ a b Washington Post, "Murkowski appears to make history in Alaska", Debbi Wilgoren, November 3, 2010 (accessed November 3, 2010)
  5. ^ Official election results for the 2010 primaries. Alaska Division of Elections.
  6. ^ Joling, Dan (October 28, 2010). "Lisa Murkowski Can Appear On List Of Write-In Candidates, State Supreme Court Rules". Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ Bohrer, Becky (November 18, 2010). "Murkowski becomes 1st write-in senator since '54". Boston Globe. Associated Press. 
  8. ^ a b c Ken Rudin (August 23, 2006). "What Happens If Lieberman Wins". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Alan (May 3, 2006). "Wilson wins primary as write-in candidate". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  10. ^ "Election Results for the March 2004 Primary" (PDF). California Secretary of State. 
  11. ^ "Write-ins give Welch GOP nomination". The Barre Montpelier Times Agnus. September 18, 2008. 
  12. ^ Winnie Brinks takes oath of office as Michigan's 76th District State Representative
  13. ^ Serphin R. Maltese R-C
  14. ^ "2005 General Election results for Hunterdon County". 
  15. ^ Reprint from The Huntington County News
  16. ^ "Mike Duggan, Write-In Candidate, Pulls Comeback In Detroit Mayoral Primary". 
  17. ^ "Media's role clouds San Diego recount". 
  18. ^ "Waterbury mayor to wage write-in campaign". 
  19. ^ The Waterbury Observer – The Write Stuff
  20. ^ News Channel 8 / 2005 Vote Election Results
  21. ^ Kazanjian O'Brien, Dolores (April 1, 2005). "Baxter Estates Mayor James Neville "Stunned" by Write-in Defeat". Port Washington News. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  22. ^ Recommendation to review proposed amendments to the Long Beach City Charter
  23. ^ Legacy of a Legend. Long Beach Press-Telegram.
  24. ^ http://www.wgil.com/newsarchive.php?xnewsaction=fullnews&newsarch=012011&newsid=150
  25. ^ http://www.galesburg.com/news/x1958454815/Election-commission-upholds-challenge
  26. ^ http://www.galesburg.com/news/x703876634/Election-commission-delays-announcement
  27. ^ http://www.wgil.com/newsarchive.php?xnewsaction=fullnews&newsarch=012011&newsid=150
  28. ^ http://www.galesburg.com/news/x1254713692/Reynolds-will-run-as-write-in-for-city-council-Ward-3
  29. ^ http://www.galesburg.com/x481356899/Recount-for-Galesburg-City-Council-Ward-3-seat-possible
  30. ^ http://www.galesburg.com/news/x528727041/Final-count-confirms-Fleming-s-victory-for-Ward-3-council-seat
  31. ^ http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2011/nov/10/tdmet03-richmond-county-write-in-campaign-workedma-ar-1448412
  32. ^ http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/07/17/cat-marks-15-years-as-mayor-of-alaska-town/
  33. ^ School Board Write-in Campaign
  34. ^ "'Fight' seen in California's governor's race". CNN. March 6, 2002. Retrieved 2006-03-30. 
  35. ^ Orange County Registrar of Voters Election Results for March 5, 2002
  36. ^ Orange County Registrar of Voters Election Results for November 5, 2002
  37. ^ Srisavasdi, Rachanee (October 30, 2003). "Case against ex-judge Kline gutted". Irvine World News. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  38. ^ Dougherty, Michael Brendan (October 1, 2009). "A Reversal of Fortune for Interim Independence Party". The Putnam County Courier. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  39. ^ Acosta, Roberto. "School board candidate loses election because she didn't vote for herself; calls not voting a 'dumb move'". Mlive.com. Retrieved November 2, 2011. 
  40. ^ ABC News: Donald Duck's a Big Bird in Politics
  41. ^ "Livingstone threatens write-in campaign". BBC News. November 11, 1998. 
  42. ^ Skämtet gjorde Jonas till sd-politiker – GT.se – Expressen.se – Sveriges bästa nyhetssajt!
  43. ^ "Foot Powder Produces Headaches in Ecuador." The New York Times. July 18, 1967. Page 39. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
  44. ^ Snopes report on the election result
  45. ^ "Foot Powder Wins Election Hands Down." The Washington Post. July 18, 1967 (p. A13).
  46. ^ Ferreira, Neil. "Cacareco agora é Excelência". O Cruzeiro. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  47. ^ Thompson, Jim (November 9, 2012). "Charles Darwin gets 4,000 write-in votes in Athens against Paul Broun". Athens Banner-Herald. 
  48. ^ Georgia Secretary of State Nov 2012 election results