The Campaign Spot

For Those Wondering About Missouri Write-in Bids . . .

For Republicans who find the rambling, excuse-making, increasingly incoherent Todd Akin unacceptable as a Senate candidate, here are the rules on a write-in bid:

“write-in candidate” is a person:

whose name is not printed on the ballot (see 115.453(4,5,6) RSMo); and who has filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for election to office with the proper election authority prior to 5:00 p.m. on the second Friday immediately preceding the election day. It is not necessary to file a declaration of intent if there are no candidates on the ballot for that office. (see 115.453 (4) RSMo)

Frequently asked questions on write-in candidates

Can a write-in candidate be on a primary election ballot?

No. (Section 115.453 (5) RSMo)

If a candidate runs in a primary election and loses, can the person run in the general election for the same office?

No. If a candidate files for nomination to an office and is not nominated at a primary election, that candidate cannot file a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for the same office at the general election. (Section 115.453(4) RSMo)

Are write-in candidates posted at the polling place?

No. The election authority shall furnish a list to the election judges and counting teams prior to Election Day of all write-in candidates who have filed a declaration of intent. (Section 115.453(4) RSMo)

Are write-in votes counted for every name that is written in?

No. If a candidate is on the ballot for an office, write-in votes are counted only for the candidates who have filed a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate with the proper election authority. (Section 115.453(4), first sentence) If no candidate is on the ballot for an office, it is not required to file a declaration of intent and votes are counted for every name properly written in. (Section 115.453(4) RSMo, last sentence)

So Sarah Steelman and John Brunner, who lost the GOP Senate primary, are not eligible to run as write-in candidates.

Of course, for a write-in bid to succeed, one would need ideally a simple name, one that is not easily misspelled, since we know election lawyers will attempt to disqualify any ballot that is unclear in any way.

If only some figure, well known to Missouri voters and trusted by them, would step forward and declare, “The name’s Bond . . . Kit Bond.”

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