As Election Nears, Push For Write-In Candidates Grows

May 16, 2016

Credit Tom Hagerty

Although Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton seem to have paved a clear path to the Republican and Democratic nominations, dissatisfied voters are still looking for ways to circumvent those candidates in the general election. With about two months to go before nominations are decided, unrest continues to grow.

On the left is a movement called “Bernie or Bust.” It’s based on a pledge to write in Senator Sanders’ name in November if he doesn’t win the nomination. Some Republicans are also unsure of whether they can commit to supporting Donald Trump. Many are considering the Libertarian option, or forgoing the Presidential ticket altogether. Meanwhile, some Trump supporters wary of the nomination process, have created a pledge of their own, “Write in Trump for Prez.” But Richard Winger with Ballot Access News warns written votes could go uncounted.

“Tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of write-ins don’t get reported because most states say that they only count write-ins for presidential candidates who file a Declaration of Write-In Candidacy," Winger says.

Very few states allow write-ins without the candidate first having registered to run as a write-in. There is still time for people to file as write-ins, but Winger says it’s highly unlikely any major party candidates will do so.