The State Board of Elections is getting questions about write-in votes. Enough so that Chris Piper, the Board’s Election Services Manager, has issued a memo to registrars and electoral board members outlining the “policies and procedures” required to count those votes correctly. I found this particular section rather revealing:
The Code does not establish qualification requirements for write-in candidates. An individual can declare themselves a write-in candidate and notify the appropriate office. As communicated in a previous email, John Parmele has declared himself a write-in candidate for Governor; however, no other individual has notified us of their intent to run a write-in campaign for statewide office.
Below is an example an electoral board may encounter during canvass when trying to determine whether to count a write-in vote for an undeclared write-in candidate.
There are two individuals registered within the locality/state (depending on the office) who share the first name “William” and last name “Rolling” (e.g. William Troy Rolling and William Victor Rolling). The electoral board must decide if write-in votes cast as Bill Rolling, William Rolling or B T Rolling are votes for William T. Rolling. In the case where a voter writes in “Bill Rolling” or “William Rolling”, it is impossible for the electoral board to determine whom the voter intended to cast their ballot. If the intent notification is absent, the decision to accumulate or not accumulate the derivates must still be made. All rulings on accepting or rejecting a write-in vote as a vote cast for a write-in candidate are by majority vote of the Board.
And yes, the lieutenant governor’s middle name is “Troy,” for those who are curious.
For the rest of us, it does seem the SBE is trying to make it clear how to correctly identify those write-ins for Bill.