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Write-In Votes For Non-Qualified Candidates Wasted In Florida

Kayla Davis

Two weeks after the presidential election, Florida has published official returns. But not every name voters wrote on their ballots will appear on those reports.

That’s because Florida is among the states that require write-in candidates to register ahead of time. Qualification requirements for write-in candidates are almost identical to those of ballot candidates: They must be residents of the district and must submit either party-affiliated or non-party-affiliated qualifying papers to the Florida Department of State Division of Elections. They are not required, however, to pay a qualifying fee or submit petition papers.

Candidates who don’t qualify ahead of time are not tallied on Election Day.

Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Cannon concedes Nassau voters wrote several non-qualified candidate names, but she refuses to give examples, because ballots should not be used to make jokes.

“Voting is such an important process,” she said. “I would like to always encourage people to only write in the names of candidates that will count so they don’t waste a vote.”

Robert Phillips, chief elections officer of Duval County, says when the voting machine detects a write-in candidate, it takes an image of that ballot.

“We have to go back through and find out who the, actually, ballot write-ins are and get tally of the ones that are the actual ballot write-in candidates,” he said.

Phillips says about 3,000 votes were cast for write-in candidates, including non-qualified ones like Jesus Christ, Mickey Mantle and Mickey Mouse.

And, courtesy of GPB News, here’s a list of non-qualified vote getters in the state of Georgia:

Kayla Davis is a Jacksonville native and senior at the University of North Florida, majoring in multimedia journalism.
Andre Roman is a senior studying multimedia journalism at the University of North Florida. He is also the creator/host/producer of the the radio/podcast show One Tank Radio.