NewsPublic Affairs / October 21, 2016

Could A Write-In Vote For Pence Still Count For The Trump Ticket?

Monroe County Ballot

Monroe County Ballot

Many Republicans who are dissatisfied with Donald Trump have announced their intention to write in Mike Pence for president. But in Pence’s home state, that write-in could end up being a vote for Trump anyway.

Write in candidates in Indiana have to be certified by the Secretary of State’s office for those votes to count.

So, for example, if you write in Bernie Sanders, that vote just gets thrown out.

But what happens if you write in Indiana governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence for president?

Pence is not a certified write-in candidate. That’s creates two possibilities – either the vote gets thrown out or it gets counted for the Trump ticket.

When you cast a vote for president, you’re actually voting for electors. These are kind of like delegates; they’re people who then cast a vote for their party’s ticket.

So if a write-in vote for Mike Pence gets counted for Pence electors, those electors could choose to vote for the Trump ticket.

The Indiana Election Division hasn’t decided how it will count the votes.

The Election Division is managed by two co-directors: Democrat Angie Nussmeyer and Republican Brad King. In an email Tuesday, both Nussmeyer and King said the issue has not been discussed, but they plan to confer together and agree on an official position.

They did not indicate a timeline for their decision.

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