Four meet write-in deadline for August
Wednesday marked the deadline for those wishing to run a write-in campaign for the upcoming August election to turn in their paperwork to the Election Commission office.
When the noon deadline passed, four individuals had turned in their paperwork to become certified write-in candidates for local offices. All four had been candidates during the May primary but lost their respective races.
“We always have write-ins,” said Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris. “Usually it’s for constable or the Commission. This is the first time I have seen this many for the big county races.”
• Chris Mathes filed paperwork to be a write-in candidate for the office of sheriff. He lost the Republican Primary election to Dexter Lunceford by a margin of 68 votes;
• Donna McKinney filed paperwork for the office of Circuit Court clerk. She lost the Republican Primary election to Johnny Blankenship by a margin of 825 votes in a race that was split between four candidates;
• Jason Shell filed paperwork for the office of road superintendant. He lost the Republican Primary election to Roger Colbaugh by a margin of 438 votes in a race that split between five candidates;
• Jerry Miller filed paperwork to be a write-in candidate for the office of constable for the Third District. He came in fourth out of four candidates who were vying for the two constable nomination slots for the Third District during the Republican Primary. Those two nominations were secured by Scott Whaley, with 467 votes, and James T. Bowers, with 411 votes. Miller garnered 293 votes in that race and the other candidate, Scotty P. Hall, secured 362 votes.
“It is going to be real interesting,” Harris said of the number of write-in candidates.
When voters go to the polls for the election, in order to cast a vote for a write-in candidate they must select the button on the voting machine for “Write In” and then use the buttons on the machine to enter the name of the person they wish to write in a vote for.
“The candidates themselves are the ones that are supposed to educate their supporters on how to do a write-in vote,” Harris said. “Our workers can tell them how to do a write-in on the machine but they cannot spell any names or tell any names.”
Harris said that a name does not have to be spelled correctly on a write-in vote to count, but it must be close enough that the voter’s intent can be determined.
Write-in votes must be hand counted, Harris said, adding that while the number of write-in votes cast in the election will be available with the results released on election night, the names of the persons voted for will not be immediately available. The names of individuals as well as the number of votes they received will not be available until the ballots are hand-counted during the canvassing process, which is held the day after the election. Harris said with the number of individuals running as write-ins, the hand counting process could last more than the usual one day which canvasing takes.
The August election – which is the General Election for the county as well as the primary for state offices – will be held on Aug. 7. Early voting for the election will run from July 18 through Aug. 2.