A Note on Write-In Candidates

This election cycle, many individuals that I talk to on a frequent basis are examining the possibility of voting for a write-in candidate for president given our disappointing choices from the major two party candidates. While the most prominent of these candidates are Evan McMullin and Jill Stein, there are a host of others – 17 to be exact. You can find a full list on the Secretary of State’s website here.

Contrary to popular belief, you can only ‘write-in’ one of these 17 candidates for your write-in ballot to be accepted in Georgia. Votes for SMOD will not be counted.

You do not have to include anything other than the write-in candidate’s name. Their running mate’s name is also not required.

Interestingly enough, you don’t have to accurately spell the name of your candidate for it to count. However, if you do not spell the name correctly, the decision on whether or not to accept your ballot lays at the feet of county election officials. “Evan McMuffin” may or may not be accepted. If you’re filling out an absentee ballot, make sure to write clearly and legibly in the write-in line provided! Handwritten write-ins may be the greatest area for discretion on behalf of the local election officials.

Also, if you’re voting on the machines that are typically in use during in-person voting, there will be a drop down box you can click to then type in the name of one of the accepted write-in candidates. Remember, you can vote for someone else, but your vote for president (or whichever office you vote for an un-certified write-in candidate) will not be counted.

As Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski can attest, write-in candidates can make or break an election.

Let us know in the comments if you chose or plan on choosing a write-in candidate when you make your way to the polls! Go vote!


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