How Does Write-In Tabulation Work for Voting

Nov 04, 2014

BUTLER COUNTY – SEMO TIMES spoke with Butler County Clerk Tonyi Deffendall on Monday to find out the details of counting votes when there is a write-in candidate. Here are the bullet points of that conversation:

  • Votes cast must include both the write-in name and the arrow must be connected to the right of that name
  • Any ballots with a write-in candidate marked (every contest has a write-in listed on the ballot) are automatically separated by the voting machine for later counting
  • The only race where a candidate has registered to be a write-in is the County Collector race, no other write-ins are allowed
  • At 7pm and at each of the 26 polling stations the write-in ballots will be tallied
  • Each polling station will have four judges (two Democrats and two Republicans) who will evaluate and tally the write-in ballots. One of the judges will be reading, two of the judges will be tallying and one will be monitoring. If they tire, they are allowed to switch tasks. The tally sheets must agree and all four judges sign off.
  • Each write-in ballot must have been coherently written as “Tammy Marler” to be guaranteed of being counted
  • The “intent of the voter” will be the needed evidence for including it as a vote for the write-in candidate
  • Ballots will not be counted if:
    • the write-in name is not a name already registered with the county for that race (so only the collectors race can have a write-in)
    • the name is not intelligibly written enough to discern voter intent
  • Each of the judges sign off on the tally sheet and it is submitted with the polling data to the County Clerk’s office
  • The judges tally sheets from each precincts are final unless a recount is authorized.

Results at each precinct will be delayed for the write-in tally, so all Butler County results will be delayed. Deffendall expects the delay in results to be approximately 30 minutes.