Elections

NC write-in votes won’t count unless they’re for Jill Stein

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein answers questions from members of the media during a campaign stop at Humanist Hall in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein answers questions from members of the media during a campaign stop at Humanist Hall in Oakland, Calif. on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. AP

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin has a good shot at winning Utah, according to recent polls, but voting for him in North Carolina won’t count.

Sure, there’s a write-in option for president on ballots here. And given voters’ dissatisfaction with the major party candidates, some will be tempted to vote for McMullin. (Or Mickey Mouse. Or Deez Nuts.)

But under state law, elections officials will only count votes cast for candidates who met the petition requirement for write-in candidates.

McMullin’s campaign didn’t submit the 500 signatures required to become an official write-in candidate. Only one presidential hopeful did: Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She went above and beyond the requirement by submitting 1,178 signatures.

North Carolina has some of the country’s toughest ballot access rules. Only the official nominee for the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian parties can have their names on the ballot. Third party and independent candidates seeking to get their name listed must submit a petition with signatures of 89,366 registered voters.

In most other N.C. races, there isn’t a space on the ballot for write-in candidates because no one met the petition requirement.

Aside from Stein, there’s only one official write-in candidate in statewide races this year: Brian Wayne of Jarvisburg is running for labor commissioner.

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