While Hoosiers are free to vote for “Chuck Norris” or “Jesus Christ” only write-in votes for the eligible 15 candidates will be tallied.
“If they write-in as an example Mickey Mouse we accept it on the keyboard but when it prints at the end of the night we reject it because Mickey Mouse is not a declared candidate,” Patrick Gabrione, assistant director of the Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, said.
Although write-in votes will have little to no impact on the outcome of the presidential election, Gabrione said Americans have the right to vote for whomever they want.
“It doesn’t necessarily matter if whom you vote for wins,” he said. “It’s their constitutional right to vote for whomever they want as long as that candidate is eligible.”
Out of the 2.6 million Hoosier votes in the 2012 presidential election, there were only 993 write-in ballots, according to the Federal Elections Commission. In Lake County there were 389 write-in ballots in the presidential election and 29 in the governor’s race. Porter County had 297 write-in ballots in the presidential election and 30 in the governor’s race.
Valerie Warycha, director of communication for the Indiana Secretary of State, said she urges voters to know the 15 candidates eligible for a write-in ballot. But if a voter writes in a name for someone that is not an eligible candidate, that vote would be disregarded, but the rest of their ballot will count, Warycha said.
There are 43 states that allow write-in ballots for the presidential election. Thirty-five of which, including Indiana, require candidates register with the state to be an eligible write-in candidate on the ballot. The filing deadline for potential write-in candidates was July 5.
Gabrione and Kathy Kozuszek, Democratic director of voter registration in Porter County, said they have only received a handful of calls from citizens inquiring about how to cast a write-in ballot.
Despite only receiving a few calls about write-in ballots, Gabrione said after this year’s primary the Lake County received a lot of calls from Bernie Sanders’ supporters asking how to vote for him in November’s general election.
Sanders, however, is not an eligible write-in candidate in Indiana.
Indiana write-in candidates:
Darrell L. Castle: The Constitution Party, from Memphis, Tenn.
Jill Stein: Green Party
Ray C. Brown: From Evansville, Ind.
“Rocky” Roque De La Fuenta: Businessman, San Diego, Calif.
Richard Duncan: Independent. According to his website, the Ohio man also ran for president in 2008 and 2012.
Cherunda Fox: Independent. Retired protective service worker from Michigan.
Tom Hoefling: America’s Party, from Lohrville, Iowa.
Denny C. Jackson: Independent, Mayor of Milton, Ky., population 574.
Melissa L. Kelly: Independent, from Mishawaka, Ind.
Laurence Kotlikoff: Boston University economics professor
Joseph Maldonado: Independent, from Oklahoma, owns an exotic animal park; also known as Joe Exotic, according to theblaze.com.
Ric Mullis: Independent
Matthew (None of the Above) Roberts, Independent from Kentwood, Mich.
Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik: Socialist Party USA
Monica Moorehead: Workers World Party
Posted on November 2, 2016 by Javonte Anderson