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(15,480 posts)
5. Response to PM question re write-in votes
Sat May 7, 2016, 06:20 AM
May 2016

"> Do you know if PA allows write-ins (Sestak) in the GE?"

Yes, it does. Caveat: Joe Sestak did NOT suggest anyone do a write-in for him. But I'm thinking that such write-ins make a statement to both Pennsylvania and national Democratic power brokers that we want elected officials who are responsive to their constituents, and not to out-of-state millions of special interest money.

I've been a judge of elections for over 10 years. The tricky part about write-in votes is that similar names for the same candidate are not lumped together for totals. For example, on the primary ballot, Sestak's name was "Joseph A. Sestak". In the general election, any write-in votes for "Joseph A. Sestak", "Sestak", "Joe Sestak" or "J. Sestak" or "Joseph Sestak" or even "Joseph A Sestak" (with no period after the middle initial A) would not be counted in a single group. Here's a link to the election results: Note that some candidates used no middle initial; some used a middle initial without a period following it; some used a middle initial with a period. http://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/electionresults2016/

The Pennsylvania election code does provide write-in candidates with an option of petitioning the court to consolidate similar designations of a candidate, but it's a cumbersome procedure. You can see the state law at Title 25 - Elections, of the Pennsylvania Statutes. Here's some language (with my emphasis added in all caps) re EVS, i.e., Electronic Voting Systems: 25 P.S. Section 3031.7:
"Voter must be able to select candidates of either party for that office up to the number allowed OR WRITE IN AN INDIVIDUAL'S NAME AS PROVIDED AT 25 P.S. Section3031.7 (5) and (6)."

("P.S". stands for Pennsylvania Statutes)

What a turbulent election season this is - Thanks to social media and the masses of newly politically involved youth, we are in a sea change of the American political system. I don't know how much the results of the fall election will reflect this, but there's no going back. The Democrats currently running the show (Wasserman, Schumer, et al.,) have abandoned the traditional Democratic party values. I know many people who are planning to change their registration from Democrat to Independent. Now that Pennsylvania has on-line voting registration, it's simple to do. And one can always change registration back to Democrat for a brief period to vote in the state's closed primary.

I related to Will Pitt's title of his recent piece for Truthout: William Rivers Pitt | "Election 2016: Let's Drop Acid and Have a Presidential Race".


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