With three candidates officially running as write-ins in Tuesdayâ€™s general election, voters have been curious how to properly cast ballots in their favor.
Auglaize County Elections Board Director Michelle Wilcox explained that the ballot has a space on it that says â€śwrite inâ€ť followed by a line, on which the candidateâ€™s name should be written. An oval beside â€śwrite-in candidateâ€ť must also be filled in to indicate a desire to vote for that person.
â€śThe poll workers have a list of write-in candidates at their table in a folder,â€ť Wilcox said. â€śOnly candidates that have filed to be write-ins are on the list.â€ť
A voter must request to see the list, which is not posted for the public.
â€śIf a voter writes a name that is not on the list, it will not be counted,â€ť Wilcox said. â€śIf a voter does not fill in the oval the computer cannot read the ballot.â€ť
She said the computer has a diverter that sends those ballots to the right side of the ballot box,
with diverted ballots collected and put in a separate folder where they are hand counted in the office.
Wilcox said while spelling does not have to be correct for a write-in vote to be counted, the Elections Board has to be able to determine intent.
The ballots are first counted as part of an unofficial tally on election night.
Write-in candidates on the ballot in Auglaize County for this election include, Gregory A. Ritchie, running for an unexpired term as Uniopolis mayor; James Henschen, running for New Knoxville Village Council; and Glen Valenti, running for Waynesfield Village Council.
â€śFor this type of election with school boards, township trustees, and local officials, this is average, and not larger than normal for elections of this type,â€ť Wilcox said of the number of write-in candidates.