Thursday, October 28, 2010

You have 90 Minutes to Be a Write In Candidate for US Senate

After the Superior Court decision NOT allowing the State to hand out a list of names of certified write in candidates to voters who ask for them was blocked by the Supreme Court, it sounds like the list will be available to voters until the Supreme Court gets a further appeal and decides differently.

Sound confusing?  Well, here's the instruction in my voting booth when I voted early yesterday.

Should the election officials tell people the names of the write-in candidates?  Should it be as easy to vote for a write-in candidate as it is for one that has been vetted by the candidate's party?  Why can't voters just bring in a piece of paper with the name of the candidate they want? 

On the other hand, why shouldn't it be made as easy as possible for someone to vote for the candidate they want? 

And what about absentee voters?  Should they be given a list of official write-in candidates?  The names on the ballot are randomized and listed in different order on different ballots so that the first on the list bias is neutralized.  Will that happen on the write in list?  You can see this can get really absurd.  

What I did notice when I voted, was that every office had a list of names and then a space for a write-in.  That made me realize that voters not only have to remember the name of the person they want to write in, but also which office they're running for.  If someone puts in Lisa Murkowski's name for governor, that will be a vote for governor, but won't affect the US Senate race. 

I suspect we're going to have a long wait for all the votes to be counted in the Senate race.  Long.  And then all the write-ins will be challenged. 

An acquaintance checked with the Division of Elections today and found out there is still time to become a certified write-in candidate for US Senate or House of Representatives.  Til 5pm today. 

From: Wilson, Lauri L (GOV) [/src/compose.php?]
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:59 AM
Subject: Letter of Intent for US Senate


Here is the Letter of Intent you need to complete and return to our office by 5:00pm Alaska Time today, October 28th.  You may return the completed form via fax, email or in person to any of our office locations. I have listed additional links below for contact information for each election office location, write-in information from our web site and to the Federal Election Commission. 

Director’s Office

Regional Offices:

Additional information on write-in candidate’s office:

Web site for Federal Election Commission:

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Lauri Wilson
Election Coordinator
State of Alaska
Division of Elections
(907) 465-3049
(907) 465-3203 fax
 Here's what that form looks like (My screen isn't large enough to copy the whole thing in a legible way, but you can get your own copy here.  You can get one for the other offices too at the link above for additional information on write-in candidate's office.)

Unlike in other elections, this time your name will be on a list that voters can see.

You have until 5 pm to get it in today.  And don't forget, you'll have some filing requirements like all other candidates. 


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