Actually, I don't know if municipal write=in candidates have to be registered or not. A write in candidate in a state race must register with the SOS or they will not *count* the votes. As in, I can't show up to the SOS office and say how many votes did I get for governor? How many people wrote in 'Chris Huttman'? You can see why from an adminstrative standpoint, or any old crazy could take up hours upon hours asking how many votes they got in every single race on the ballot.
That said, like much election law, it is a matter of interpretation. Does "not counted" mean that the election officials don't have to produce an itemized list of totals for Mickey Mouse and every possible name written in, or does it mean not counted in the sense that the vote is disqualified?
That opens up another can of worms. Someone who voted for Shirley Franklin and then Mickey Mouse only has their vote thrown out in the Mickey Mouse race, so can they really be considered a disqualified voter? Could be some interesting developments. If I was Steve Brodie I'd probably concede and run again in 4 years. He'd probably be a shoo-in then.
ByChris, at 11/11/2005 10:53:00 PM
The Georgia Supreme Court has already decided this issue and the write in votes will not count in the number of total "votes cast." In the controlling case, the votes of a candidate who had withdrawn, but who's name remained on the ballot, did not count towards the total number of "votes cast." I don't see any difference in this case, although I wish it would, given that the votes were for unqualified write in candidates.
Bydecaturguy, at 11/14/2005 10:07:00 AM
I'm no legal expert on voter law, but I guess my argument for the difference in this case would be that the write-in candidates were never registered. I can understand if a candidate withdrew -- not counting those votes makes sense to me. But, it seems that the whole point of write-in candidates is to grant power to the people... a revolution of the voters if you will. If enough voters legitimately want an unregistered candidate to win, and awarded that candidate with 60% of the vote (yes, and extreme example and highly unlikely), would all of those votes not be counted. That seems a bit unfair to me if no legally wrong.
ByAdamATL, at 11/14/2005 01:15:00 PM
I understand your point, but I think the legal precedent is that votes for unqualified candidates are void and don't count towards the total "votes cast." Like a withdrawn candidate, unregistered write in candidates, are incapable of taking office and even if they got a majority of the vote, could not be elected. What power are you granting to people who vote for someone who could not, under any circumstance, take office?
I would think the case for counting the votes for unqualified write in candidates would be weaker than that for a withdrawn candidate. At least the withdrawn candidate was once qualified and the voters may not have gotten the message that their candidate withdrew. With unqualified write in candidates, they were never qualified to begin with.
Bydecaturguy, at 11/14/2005 04:56:00 PM
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