Write-ins face several hurdles to get counted
Qualified write-in candidates names do not appear on the ballot, but their names are supposed to be posted at all polling stations, and they have to meet several requirements under state law.
So how does one cast a write-in vote and will it really count?
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“Electronically when you touch the box by the write in, a keyboard will pop up and then you type in the name,” said Melva B. Garrison, director of the Dare County Board of Elections. “For the paper ballot, you color the circle and write the name.”
For a county commissioners race, a qualified write-in candidate must file papers stating their intent, provide some personal information, and have at least 100 qualified voters in the county sign a petition.
Sandy Semans Ross, an independent candidate for the District 1 Board of Commissioner’s seat, satisfied those requirements.
While qualified write-in candidates names do not appear on the ballot, their names are supposed to be posted at all polling stations.
All partisan races…presidential, statewide, legislative, and county…also have similar qualified write-in candidate requirements under a state law passed in 1987.
The law does not apply to non-partisan and municipal races, so technically a vote for “Mickey Mouse” would count for mayor or city council.
In the case of the non-partisan Dare County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor race, no candidates filed to run, so it is a write-in only and all votes will be tallied.
Voters may write-in the candidate’s full name, their first name, or their last name and the vote will count for that candidate.
“North Carolina is a voter intent state…if we can determine what the voter intended, it will count,” Garrison said.
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