NewsElection Watch


How write-in candidates work

Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 21:06:00-04

PUEBLO COUNTY- This November’s election comes with many contested races.

In some cases though, the opponent’s name won’t be on the ballot: just a spot that says ‘Write-in’.

In Pueblo County, one man hopes to take over the Sheriff’s job as a write-in candidate.

Kent ‘Moose’ Ervin, admits he’s not a politician- but he thinks he can win the election, even without his name on the ballot.

‘The way I’m thinking about it, if I did all that stuff and campaigned and campaigned, people wouldn’t think about it and have it in their mind come election day,’ said Ervin.

Ervin is up against current Sheriff Kirk Taylor.

Running as a write-in isn’t common, in this November’s election- every congressional seat has a spot for a write-in.

For county races in southern Colorado, most counties don’t have anyone running as a write-in but there are unaffiliated candidates.

In Fremont County, there are 2 candidates running as unaffiliated for Sheriff- their names will appear on the ballot.

‘A lot of people use that line to fill in bizarre names like Darth Vader or Mickey Mouse,’ said Gilbert Ortiz, Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder.

When that happens, voters essentially throw out their vote.

Write-in candidates have to file with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office 110 days before the general election.

The only write-in votes accepted, are those registered with the Secretary of State’s office.

Ortiz says if a voter is writing the name on the ballot, spelling doesn’t have to be exact- but it does have to resemble the name of the write-in candidate.

For example, if someone named Robert is running and the voter writes ‘Bob’ the election committee would likely count that vote.

If you’re filling out a ballot at home, the only way to find out who the registered write-in candidate is by doing your own research.

Voters can visit voter polling locations to find out who the write-in candidates are as well.