Write-in candidates piling up as Oct. 28 deadline approaches

A list of local write-in candidates.
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Chris Wilcox missed making the November ballot as a candidate for trustee in Almer Township by a mere nine votes and as far as he’s concerned, that’s just too close to completely quit.

That’s why he is running as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 8 general election.

He is one of 19 candidates to file so far and there could be more as the deadline to file as a write-in candidate is 4 p.m., Oct. 28.

“I only lost by nine votes so I figured I would give it another crack,” Wilcox said.

Several write-in candidates are campaigning as hard as or harder than those who filed to run in the traditional manner. Wilcox is one of them, putting out yard signs with his name on them and continuing to go door-to-door and meet as many candidates as possible.

He told The Advertiser he’s focused on issues such as Almer Township’s park and promoting transparency on the part of public officials.

Wilcox is one of several write-in candidates who were defeated in the August primary election.

They include Duane Lockwood, supervisor, Ellington Township, Diane Wilder, treasurer, Ellington Township, and Nancy Zuzula, clerk, Vassar Township.

Others have run because of a shortage of candidates. As The Advertiser previously reported, the village of Fairgrove had a lone candidate on the November ballot in late August. That has since been resolved.

For voters, voting for write-in candidates literally requires “writing in” a candidate’s name on a ballot.

Jodi Fetting, county clerk, Tuscola County, said that to vote for a write-in candidate, voters need to:

  • Find the correct contest on the ballot. (If placed under the incorrect contest, the write-in vote will not be counted.)
  • Write the name (as accurate as possible) in a blank line found under the pre-printed candidate name (if there is one).  (The voter does not need to worry about party affiliation as it is a general election.)
  • Connect the arrow next to the name written in.

For those who wish to run as write-in candidates, Fetting provided the following:

“The filing deadline for write-in candidates is October 28 at 4 p.m. The candidate will file the required paperwork with the local filing clerk,” Fetting said.  For example, if a person wanted to be a write-in for a City of Caro contest, they would file with the City of Caro Clerk or if a person wanted to be a write-in for an Ellington Township contest they would file with the Ellington Township Clerk.  The Clerk then forwards a copy of the paperwork to me although they do not have to officially do that until the October 28 deadline.”

Fetting provided additional information on how the votes will be counted.

“The Precinct Inspectors will only record write-in votes for a declared write-in candidate.  The Precinct Inspectors will record any logical name variation.  For example if John A. Smith is the write-in candidate, the Precinct Inspector would record J. Smith; John Smith or John A. Smith.

“The Board of Canvassers meet the day following Election Day to review and canvass the county results.  The Board of Canvassers will review the names recorded in the poll book to determine if the name variation is valid and will be counted.  Variations in the candidate name can be counted if the voter’s intent is clear.  The write-in votes cast will then be tallied to provide a total number of votes received by the write-in candidate.  If the office involved appears on a partisan or nonpartisan general election ballot, a write-in candidate is elected to the office if he or she receives more votes than any other candidate seeking the office; a minimum number of write-in votes is not required.”

Andrew Dietderich is editor of The Advertiser and can be reached at andrew@tcadvertiser.com

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