Are you still feeling the bern? Do you find the choices akin to choosing between a loaded gun with a hair trigger and an AIDS-infested bandage? Despite what Bernie says, you still can’t seem to come around to Team Hillary? Haven’t been successfully fear-baited into choosing the leading face of the red or blue team? Well then, you still can write-in for your favorite politician, and not have to choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. But that’s insane, right? Wrong! You should go with who you feel is the right person for the job and if that person is Bernie Sanders then there is a select number of states, you’ll be able to write him in! So, keep your chin up, hippies! Keep on reading, and you’ll find out where and how to write in the name of an old man who has inspired so many young people.
But what states let you write in the Sandman? I wonder if anyone has used that nickname for him yet. Someone probably did, but if they didn’t they should! Here’s all of the info you need to know to select Bernie Sanders as your next president of the United States.
Which States Allow Write-Ins Without Registration?
Write-in rules vary across each state and can cause some folks to scratch their heads out of confusion. In some states, there are no write-ins at all, and you’ll have to accept what you get. Deal with it, rest of America! But for those who see Bernie as a more benevolent leader and figure, there are still states available to write the ol’ guy in. According to Heavy.com, you can only write-in Sanders’ name in Alabama, California, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, and possibly Wyoming (unclear) and Mississippi (unclear). And some states such as California has specific guidelines to follow for your vote to count when and if you chose Bernie, then he must be listed as Bernard “Bernie” Sanders, with Tulsi Gabbard as his veep.
But you’ve got to make this vote count, not all states will accept your choice if you pick the Sandman (Sanders). And not all websites have the same or exactly accurate information on which state to go to (hope the DNC has nothing to do with this, kidding not kidding). For example, Ballotpedia map lists different states than the ones on Daily Kos’ map. And outside these two maps, a few other states have been referred to online as Sanders’ write-in states.
I know I told you in which states you can thoroughly feel the bern by this Tuesday, but there are different write-in terms and requirements for each state. Look below to find out what’s up with the write-in:
Alabama: Ballotpedia signifies here that you won’t need to file any special paperwork beforehand to write in Sanders in the state of Alabama. The law here tells you that if you want to write-in your candidate then it will have to be in non-municipal general elections (exclusively). But you need to remember how to spell Bernie Sanders correctly or it will not be counted. B-E-R-N-I-E for his first name and S-A-N-D-E-R-S to end it!
Delaware: Delaware’s state law says that you can only write-in someone who has declared themselves as a write-in candidate for a specific office by filing a declaration with the state election commissioner, according to the state’s Supreme Court. If your candidate didn’t file with the state election commissioner, your vote will not count. What a waste that would be, right?
Iowa: According to Ballotpedia, Bernie wouldn’t have to file any annoying paperwork to be counted as a write-in candidate.
Mississippi: At the moment, Mississippi is still a maybe state. Ballotpedia seems to be contradicting itself with conflicting reports. Over here the site says that write-ins aren’t typically allowed in Mississippi. However, over here it states that statutes don’t indicate the need for fees or any special paperwork.
New Hampshire: According to Ballotpedia, write-in candidates won’t need any special paperwork in this state.
New Jersey: According to Ballotpedia, no write-in candidates need any special type of paperwork in New Jersey either. And as you’ve seen in New Hampshire, Iowa, and even Alabama, that forgoing annoying paperwork isn’t just a Jersey thing!
Oregon: Over here, your Bernie write-in vote will only count during special circumstance. According to KGW, the write-in candidates will be placed into a big pool. But your write-in vote will only be counted if the total number of write-ins is more than the number of votes for the candidate who gets the most votes. Give Bernie a break, why don’t cha?
Pennsylvania: According to Ballotpedia, your write-in candidate won’t need any special paper work here either. Hmmm, I wonder if that means you can vote for Harambe. Either way, the movement lives on…
Rhode Island: According to Ballotpedia, your write-in character won’t need any special work in Rhode Island either. Give Harambe a chance, people!
Vermont: Yes, you can write-in Bernie in Vermont, according to Ballotpedia. The Vermont Secretary of State states that “write-in votes will be counted and made official about a week after the election,” My NBC 5 reported.
Washington: According to KIRO 7, write-in votes aren’t immediately counted in Washington. The write-ins will only count if the number of write-in votes is enough to change the outcome of the election. The article cites Bernie Sanders as a potential write-in (yet didn’t include Harambe). State candidates must register to be counted as a write-in candidate, however, presidential candidates do not need to register. This at least gives Harambe a shot! I’m still with you, you beautiful gorilla who fell in the Cincinnati Zoo.
Washington, D.C.: According to Ballotpedia, you can write-in your preferred candidate under one condition: your write-in candidate had needed to film a form within a week after the election in order to take office if elected. That means Harambe is out of luck. My bad, you’re out of luck, my ape friend and his loyal followers.
Wyoming: Wyoming appears to be another maybe state. According to Ballotpedia, a write-in candidate must file an application and give out a $200 filing fee or those votes will not be counted. But, the Daily Kos reports that Wyoming doesn’t even require registration (Wait, what the-). And according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in 2014,you can write in any candidate, but there’s just one catch: the votes will only be counted if the write-ins outnumber the person who gets the most votes for office. So, if Bernie can make more votes than either Trump or Clinton then there’s smooth sailing for the Bernie lovers. However, Harambe is still at a critical disadvantage.
California: The LA Times reports that Bernie Sanders is a qualified write-in candidate in the state, as long as you be careful and know to write in Bernard “Bernie” Sanders for president and Tulsi Gabbard for vice president. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced five write-in names as potential choices, including Sanders. California Law doesn’t require the candidate to register as a write-in choice, but requires that 55 electors sign on to declare a person as a write-in candidate with or without the write-in’s consent.
Which States Do Not Allow Write-Ins?
Yep, in many states, they don’t allow write-ins at all. For Harambe and Bernie lovers, you’re out of luck! According to Daily Kos, the states of Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and South Dakota don’t allow any type of write-in what-soever. In Maryland, if your write-in candidate doesn’t register then he or she is just lumped into an “other” category. In North Carolina, a write-in candidate requires a petition to get noticed, but they won’t be featured on the official ballot, Bernie will just have his name on a list at the polling place. And according to Ballotpedia, in most states, the write-in candidate would have to file paperwork before the election or those votes will not count!
How Can Bernie Sanders Win?
If Bernie is really as popular as some think he is, then it is quite possible for him to win some electoral college votes. But that’s if he can receive more votes in a state than both candidates. He might be able to pull this off in Vermont, where the man is king, but for the rest of the states, this is a huge long shot.
Let’s take a look at the electoral college, this is the mechanism which directly elects the president, not the American people, sorry folks! There are 538 electors, and each state gets at least three, even Washington DC! The number of electors per state is determined by how many senators and House representatives each state has. They cast their votes in December and Congress counts them in January. Wait, huh? Yep, that’s how it’s done. And if someone gets a majority of the vote (at least 270 electors on their side) then that candidate wins the day! Whether it’s Hillary, Trump, Bernie or Harambe, the electoral college has the power to say who becomes president at the end of Tuesday. But if no one wins the majority of votes, the House of Representatives steps in and picks who out of the three (or four, gonna include Harambe) candidates receives the most electoral votes.
There’s still sore loser laws. I’m looking at you, Señor Trump! But according to USA Today, sore loser laws may not at all apply to the presidential elections. Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News, argued that “that in 43 of the 45 states with sore loser laws on the books, the laws do not seem to apply to presidential candidates.”
And if you would rather not write-in Bernie Sander’s name (or Harambe’s, for that matter) then you can always choose third party candidates. Jill Stein almost mirrors Sander’s policies and is a very popular choice among his supports. She is from the Green Party and wants your vote! Another third party candidate that you may want to consider as your write-in this Tuesday is Gary Johnson, the candidate of the Libertarian Party. You should really see what this guy says about Donald Trump. But whether you feel the bern, the Johnson, the Trump, the Hill, or the Jill, know that Tuesday is the day to vote! Voting officially starts at your polling location on November 8, 2016, at 6:00 A.M.