As Cook County approaches the November 2nd General Election, the issue of write-in candidates surfaces. At least one write-in is announced for Grand Marais Mayor. Larry “Bear” Carlson says he’ll challenge former mayor Mark Sandbo.
According to County Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers, there are some rules for write-ins, especially those who actively seek write-in votes. Powers says election judges don’t have to count Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Superman, unless those names actually represent real people candidates. Write-ins with given names who also use nicknames in state and federal elections are counted separately and the results are not added together.
However, Powers said in smaller local elections where candidates are better known, election judges will still separate the given name and nickname votes but the canvassing board would more than likely combine them. In organized write-in campaigns, the use of pre-printed stickers with the write-in’s name are legal to use. Because write-ins don’t go through the voting machines, they slow down the final counting process.
Powers said any candidate, write-in or otherwise, who accepts or spends $750 or more is required to file a contributions report with the state.