top
California
California
Indybay
Indybay
Indybay
Regions
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
Topics
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

The problem with writing in Bernie

by KPFA Weekend News/Ann Garrison
Will write-in presidential ballots for Bernie Sanders be counted or reported? Only in a few states unless Sanders files declarations of write-in candidacy, including lists of electors, and Bernie Sanders has stated throughout his campaign that he will not do so.
Listen now:
Copy the code below to embed this audio into a web page:
Transcript available at http://www.anngarrison.com/audio/2016/06/18/636/the-problem-with-writing-in-bernie

Will write-in presidential ballots for Bernie Sanders be counted or reported?

KPFA Weekend News Anchor Loula Acamu: Voters have expressed widespread disaffection with Democrats, Republicans and their likely nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, throughout this presidential election year. Some Bernie Sanders supporters have declared that they will cast a write-in ballot for Bernie if he does not win the Democratic Party nomination. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke with Richard Winger, author of Ballot Access News, about the work that would have to be done to ensure that write-in ballots are actually counted.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Richard, first I want to let listeners know that you’re this country’s expert on third party ballot access. Whenever I’ve asked anyone else a difficult question about ballot access laws or ballot access history, the answer is always “Ask Richard Winger.” How long have you been publishing Ballot Access News?

Richard Winger: Thirty-one years, but I've been interested in this ballot access problem for 50 years. I'm 72 and I got interested when I was in college in Berkeley.

KPFA: OK, there seem to be a lot of frustrated Bernie Sanders supporters imagining that they can simply write in Bernie Sanders and have their vote counted. Could you explain the problem with this?

RW: Well, every state writes its own election rules even for federal elections, and most states do permit write-ins, but they will only count write-ins for write-in candidates who filed a declaration of write-in candidacy. And I'm pretty sure that Bernie Sanders is never going to file as a declared write-in candidate for the general election because that would be considered very hostile to the Democratic Party. So the way it stands now, in almost all states . . . people who write in Bernie Sanders in November . . . those votes will never ever be counted. No one will ever know about them, although there are about six states where they would be counted.

However, if people are determined that the tally be made of how many people write-in Bernie Sanders in November, there is something people can do even assuming Bernie Sanders won't file as a declared write-in. Some other person named Bernie Sanders could do that, and so they'd have to count 'em.

KPFA: OK, but dubious as it is that the real Bernie Sanders would encourage this kind of political theatre, how high are the barriers to registering as a write-in? What do you have to do in the various states? Do you have to file petitions or pay fees?

RW: There's only one state that requires a petition. That's North Carolina. They force a declared write-in candidate to file a petition of 500 signatures. And I think there's one or two states that would require a fee, although there are several courts that have held it's unconstitutional to force write-in candidates to pay a filing fee. And even in the few states that have it, it's a small amount of money.

It's mainly all the work, because the bulk of the work means finding slates of presidential elector candidates because they have to be part of the filing.

KPFA: So Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate who wanted to be a write in, couldn't just file to run as a write-in. They'd have to file a list of electors, right?

RW: That's exactly right and the reason for that is, under our Constitution, in November, people think they're voting for president, but they're not. They're voting for candidates for presidential elector. And the people who win those elections, they then pick the president in December. You're right; we have to line up slates of presidential electors.

KPFA: So it's not a simple process. Just, for example, how large a list of electors needs to be filed in California?

RW: Well, of course California's the most populous state. We have 55 electoral votes. Every one of those 55 people has to file a declaration of candidacy and it has to be notarized, which is really really silly, but that's the State of California for you.

KPFA: And that was Richard Winger, author of Ballot Access News, ballot-access.org. In Berkeley, for Pacifica, KPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.
Related Categories: California | U.S. | Government & Elections
Add Your Comments
Listed below are the latest comments about this post.
These comments are submitted anonymously by website visitors.
TITLE
AUTHOR
DATE
Donald Switlick
Fri, Oct 28, 2016 6:56PM
KPFA Weekend News/Ann Garrison
Wed, Jun 22, 2016 6:33PM
Old Wob
Tue, Jun 21, 2016 3:19PM
Ann Garrison
Tue, Jun 21, 2016 2:42PM
Ann Garrison
Tue, Jun 21, 2016 2:36PM
Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Mon, Jun 20, 2016 6:06AM
Kia Mia
Mon, Jun 20, 2016 3:33AM
reader
Sun, Jun 19, 2016 7:15PM
Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Sun, Jun 19, 2016 5:55PM
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

$ 140.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network