Bernie Sanders was recently asked about voters who are thinking about casting a write-in vote for president for him. According to this story, he said “It’s fine with me” as long as it is a state in which there is no doubt which major party nominee will win that state.
The remainder of the article asserts that write-ins for Sanders will be counted in all the states that have no write-in filing procedure. Unfortunately, that is not true. Most of the state election officials in those states traditionally do not tally any statewide write-in totals. The counties in those states often do, but not consistently. Oregon and Washington have laws saying write-ins are not tallied unless there is a suggestion that the write-in candidate may have won. Rhode Island is the only state without a write-in filing procedure that routinely publishes a state tally of the number of all presidential write-ins cast. Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Vermont Secretaries of State in recent years have arbitrarily picked out a few presidential write-in candidates and tallied statewide totals for them, but not for other candidates. One of the virtues of write-in declaration of candidacy laws is that there is no arbitrariness in deciding which write-ins to tally. Another virtue of such laws is that, normally, the state requires the presidential candidate to submit a list of presidential elector candidates.