Voting in an election is one of the most important rights and responsibilities we have as citizens. What happens when not enough people exercise that right? Candidates get elected by a very small percentage of voters.
On November 8th, we will head to the polls to vote on many very important offices including Governor, U.S. House, U.S. Senate and Greenville County Council seats. For me personally, I will be dismayed to not see my current council representative listed. He lost the primary race in June – a primary in which less than 3,000 voters cast ballots. In a district that has almost 29,000 registered voters, my simple math tells me the election was decided by less than 10.5 percent of voters in the district. Though this in no way discounts the votes of those who came out, it may not represent the will of the majority of voters.
While many more will presumably vote in the general election on November 8th, they may be surprised not to see the name of their preferred candidate on the ballot. This is why it is important for every voter to be aware of the process to write in a candidate.
According to the instructions on the S.C. Election Commission (SCVotes.gov) website, you can write in a candidate’s name as follows:
Casting a write-in vote on a touchscreen voting machine:
A candidate’s name may be written in by touching the “write-in” space under the appropriate office. When the “write-in” space is touched, a “write-in” screen appears featuring a touchscreen keyboard. The voter types the name of the candidate using the keyboard and presses “accept” when finished. When accept is touched, the screen returns to the ballot, and the candidate’s name that was entered will appear under the appropriate office.
For me personally, I will be using this option to vote for Lynn Ballard as my representative on Greenville County Council. He has served our district well and I would like to see him stay in office for another term. There are other candidates running as a write-in candidates for other offices – including the 4th Congressional District.
My plea is for voters take the time to educate themselves before November 8th so everyone can feel confident in the choices they make that day. Elections are our opportunity to speak our voice and that responsibility should not be taken lightly. I encourage every voter to be prepared as they head to their precinct on November 8. I also encourage every citizen to consider becoming a poll manager so that we can all ensure our elections are run smoothly and fairly.
FROM THE EDITOR …
Cynthia: Thank you for this column! Appreciate you providing our readers with this important information on how to cast a write-in ballot.
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