Ballot Access News: Vermont Needs Someone To Count Write-In Votes

Excerpt from Ballot Access News:

Vermont write-ins will only be known if any person goes to Montpelier and looks at the returns sent in by each of the towns. The Vermont Elections Director says she will then put the write-in totals on official stationery and the books that publish the national vote totals will accept that. One would think at least one person who wants to enhance the vote totals of Jill Stein, or Virgil Goode, or Stewart Alexander (three presidential candidates who definitely had supporters in Vermont) would take advantage of this opportunity. The Liberty Union Party nominated Alexander for President but he was kept off the ballot anyway because the new deadline law required ballot-qualified minor parties that nominate by convention to certify their presidential nominee by mid-June, whereas qualified parties that nominate by primary were permitted to do that as late as September.

And from a letter by Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger:

I think you read my blog, or at least did so in the past.

Can you think of any responsible Green Party activist in Vermont, or anywhere in northern New England, who would go to the trouble of visiting the Sec. of State’s office in Montpelier and going thru the reports sent in by each Vermont town clerk, with the Nov. 2012 election returns? Jill Stein write-ins are probably at least 100 in Vermont. Kathy Scheele says if some volunteer does that, she will then put the state total for Stein (and whomever else, assuming the volunteer tracks others as well) on her official stationery. Then we can send that to America Votes (author is Rhodes Cook) and the FEC, and the Clerk of the US House of Representatives, and when their books are published, those votes will be included.

If Jill Stein write-ins in Vermont are at least 122, that would bring her national vote total up from 466,877 to 467,000.

Richard Winger
PO Box 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147

14 thoughts on “Ballot Access News: Vermont Needs Someone To Count Write-In Votes

  1. Jed Siple

    VT minor party activists & party members, COUNT THESE VOTES! Every person’s vote deserves to be counted! I’m angry I haven’t heard of anyone going to do this important work!

  2. johnO

    My question is….Why isn’t Kathy Scheele or someone in the elections office doing this work? Isn’t the taxpayers in Vermont paying their salary?Saying getting volunteers to count sounds strange to me. Volunteers in small rural towns yes but state directors office? Jed Siple should be mad. Or is counting only D and R’s #’s important?

  3. paulie Post author

    They did count the LP vote also, but they don’t consider it sufficiently important to count write-ins that are not affecting the outcome of any election. I agree that they should do it anyway, but they are refusing to do so, but will make the results official IF someone else comes in and does the work.

  4. Dave Terry

    I absolutely fail to see what all the fuss is about!

    More over, I don’t understand why any one would trust biased individuals to give accurate figures for their candidates, especially when the lions share of write in votes aren’t legitimate candidates.

    According to Pauli they did count the LP vote, but this is obviously because the LP candidate was actually on the ballot.

    In MY county in Oregon ALONE with a total of 42,295 votes cast, we had 431 write- in votes (a hair over 1%). I went the County Clerks office
    to get this info, hoping to find out how many of those write-ins were for Ron Paul, so I could hopefully convert some of those voters to L.P members.

    Believe me, I would certainly like to know how
    of those write-in were “wasted” Ron Paul votes,
    but that information is simply not available and even though that information would have made my task easier, I see no reason why taxpayers
    should made to pay for an itemized list of the votes received by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck,
    Bat Man, etc.

    As an interesting side note; the votes counted;
    1. Romney 22,045
    2. Obama 19,260
    3. Johnson 639
    4. Write-ins 431
    5. Nobody (blank) 388
    6. Stein 319
    7. Christensen 128
    8. Anderson 61

  5. Richard Winger

    35 states provide that a write-in candidate who wants his or her write-ins counted should file a declaration of write-in candidacy. These are good laws. Unfortunately Vermont has no such law.

  6. Dave Terry

    Richard, could you list those 35 states OR if it is easier, the 15 states that do not have such a law?

  7. paulie Post author

    Given that printed ballots exist, and restrictions on who can get on them, it makes sense that there are write in votes. And if there are write in votes, it makes sense that they should be counted and reported. And if they are going to be counted and reported, it should be by the people being paid to count and report all votes.

    However, in this particular case, it is better to have them counted and reported by volunteers than not counted at all.

  8. Jed Siple

    Of the 5 candidates listed on the ballot, Peta Lindsay got the fewest nationally. So at the very least, the non-ballot listed candidates who got more votes than her nationally should have their votes counted: Roseanne Barr, Richard Duncan, Virgil Goode, Tom Hoefling, Ron Paul, Jill Stein, and Randall Terry. I’d do it myself, but unfortunately being unemployed I don’t even have the gas money to drive to Vermont.

    Every vote should count.

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