A look at write-ins

write-in votes for president

Ali Haupt

write-in votes for president

Dan Schulte didnâÄôt even try and he got closer to being elected on Nov. 4 than most people. The economics senior received at least two votes in the State House of Representatives race on Election Day, one from himself and one from a friend. Schulte and his friendâÄôs vote were two of 77 write-in votes cast in the State 59B race on Election Day. For the presidential election, more than 9,500 voters in Minnesota filled in the bubble next to a name they provided themselves. Minnesota doesnâÄôt keep track of write-in votes unless they were cast for official write-in candidates who filed papers with the state, Beth Fraser , governmental affairs director for the Secretary of State, said. While the number of people who voted for unofficial write-ins is counted, specific candidates are not, Fraser said. âÄúThe number of people that wrote in names was counted,âÄù she said. âÄúThey donâÄôt go through and tally how many votes Mickey Mouse got or Donald Duck got, or Donald Trump got.âÄù Duval County, Fla. did release their write-in tally from this yearâÄôs election, and everyone from Jesus to Bill Nye received write-in votes for president. Former presidential candidate New York Sen. Hillary Clinton won 234 write-in votes in the county, leading the write-in pack. Also receiving votes: Joe the Plumber, current two-term President George W. Bush and simply, âÄúNone (Anarchy).âÄù Agricultural economics sophomore Leland Abide, who wrote in Texas Rep. Ron Paul for president, said he likes the write-in system. âÄúPeople say, âÄòdonâÄôt you just feel like youâÄôre throwing away your vote?âÄù he said. âÄúAnd my response has always been, âÄòyouâÄôre only throwing away your vote if you donâÄôt vote.âÄôâÄù Abide said he voted for Paul because he was âÄúfed upâÄù with mainstream Republicans and Democrats. âÄúI felt that he was a candidate that best represented my ideals and my beliefs for our government,âÄù he said. Aubrey Immelman , a psychology professor at the College of St. Benedict and St. JohnâÄôs University , ran as an official write-in candidate in the 6th Congressional District following Rep. Michele BachmannâÄôs now-infamous appearance on âÄúHardball with Chris Matthews.âÄù Immelman said he actually encouraged Democrats to vote for DFL challenger El Tinklenberg, but wanted to run as a write-in to challenge BachmannâÄôs reelection campaign. âÄúThey could vote for me as a referendum on Bachmann and also as a referendum on the direction the Republican Party has taken this country,âÄù he said. He only received 20 official votes , but Immelman said he knew he wasnâÄôt going to win the election. âÄúMy purpose was to just get the word out that there was an alternative,âÄù he said. Immelman said he plans to ask state officials to review his vote total to make sure itâÄôs accurate, although he said he knows it wonâÄôt make a difference in the outcome of the race. Schulte said his brief brush with political fame hasnâÄôt made him more willing to run for election himself âÄî anytime soon, that is. âÄúI kind of feel like I should build some sort of a respectable resume before I do that,âÄù he said.