With three candidates officially running as write-ins in Tuesday’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 “write in” followed by a line, on which the candidate’s name should be written. An oval beside “write-in candidate” must also be filled in to indicate a desire to vote for that person.
“The poll workers have a list of write-in candidates at their table in a folder,” Wilcox said. “Only candidates that have filed to be write-ins are on the list.”
A voter must request to see the list, which is not posted for the public.
“If a voter writes a name that is not on the list, it will not be counted,” Wilcox said. “If a voter does not fill in the oval the computer cannot read the ballot.”
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.
“For 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,” Wilcox said of the number of write-in candidates.