Condos warns Vermont write-in campaign results won't be available primary night
MONTPELIER -- This primary season there are two major write-in campaigns under way, and while town clerks will make results available within a week of the election, as required under state deadlines, it's likely that the vote tallies won't be ready in time for press reports on Tuesday night.
Jim Condos, the Vermont Secretary of State, says while his office and town clerks will know the total number of write-in votes on Tuesday, the names that are written in have to be hand counted.
His office won't start receiving results from towns until Wednesday afternoon. Some town clerks will send faxes and hard copies of the results on Thursday or Friday, Condos said, and it will be a week after the election - Sept. 2 - before they have final results for write-in candidates.
"We will be working over the Labor Day weekend to work on finalizing everything," Condos said.
Dean Corren, the Progressive candidate for lieutenant governor, hopes to get 1,500 to 2,000 voters to write him in on the Democratic ballot.
Similarly, Dan Feliciano, the libertarian candidate for governor, is aggressively pursuing the Republican nomination for governor through a write-in campaign.
Voters will receive all four ballots for the state's major parties - Republican, Democratic, Liberty Union and Progressive - when they go into the voting booth and then must choose one ballot.
In towns with tabulators, voters must fill in a circle on the ballot next to the name of the candidate they write in, in order for officials to identify the write-in vote. In some states, the names of the candidates must be spelled correctly. Condos said in Vermont it's ultimately up to the board of civil authority in each to town to determine whether the vote counts.
Condos encouraged Vermonters to get out and vote. Every vote counts, he said. In the last two election cycles several House and Senate races were won by one to five votes.
"The voting process is the very core of our democracy," Condos said. "This is where we pick the people we want to represent us. It's really important, especially when lower turnout is expected for downticket races."
Absentee ballots are available at town clerks' offices until 5 p.m. Monday.
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