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Write-ins candidates, from A to Z

September 28, 2010

— If Douglas Gablinske, Al Gemma or Mary Ann Shallcross Smith prove successful as write-in legislative candidates, they may be the first to do so — at least in a long time. Several sources contacted by On Politics couldn’t recall an instance of this ever happening.

Larry Berman, spokesman for the House leadership, says the closest recent case was when Bruce Bayuk made an unsuccessful run against then-Speaker John Harwood in 2002.

Other write-in miscellany:

— Gablinske, scorned at last week’s AFL-CIO convention for his “pigs at the trough” remark, today blamed what he called self-interested unions for defeating himself, Gemma, and Shallcross Smith.

— “A write-in candidacy is difficult, at best, to win . . . ,” Gablinske conceded during today’s State House newser. “[but] people are calling, urging us to continue on, offering to volunteer, offering financial support. Our guess is that they are mad as hell and won’t put up with it anymore.”

— State Democratic Party chairman Ed Pacecho and Speaker Fox stand with the primary winners who ousted Gablinske, Gemma, and Shallcross Smith. Pacheco, in essence, says the voters have spoken.

— How do you vote for a write-in candidate? Gablinske says voters need to connect the head and tail on the ballot, and write-in the candidates name. Misspelled names are not a disqualification, he says, since voters’ intent is paramount.

— Robert Kando, executive director of the RI Board of Elections, pointed to the following info, from the Board’s FAQ on write-ins:

1. Must a write-in vote include the full name of the person being voted for?

It may not be necessary for the voter to write-in both the first and last name of the person being voted for. However, it is always necessary for the last name of the person being voted for to be written in . . .

2. Is the use of stickers or labels permitted in the execution of a write-in vote?

The use of stickers and labels is prohibited . . .

When casting a write-in vote, must the voter correctly spell the name of the person he/she is casting a write-in vote for?

Solely because a name is misspelled should not be cause for not counting a vote for a particular person. Once again, if the local board can “reasonably ascertain” who the voter wished to cast his/her vote for the vote should be counted for that person . . .

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2010 12:25 am

    It may not be necessary for the voter to write-in both the first and last name of the person being voted for…

    …unless, of course, Todd Brien decides to go the write-in route.

  2. September 29, 2010 1:56 pm

    Andrew,

    I didn’t list the entire FAQ. There is this: “It shall be necessary for the voter to write-in the first and last name of the person being voted for when it is apparent that there is more than one person in a race with the same last name.”

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