“does my write-in of that candidate still count?”

by Prince Of Petworth May 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm 12 Comments


“Question for you election/legal experts out there: If I’m registered with a political party in DC, and go to vote in the June primary, but want to vote for a candidate for a local office (council member) who’s not on my ballot (due to belonging to another political party), does my write-in of that candidate still count? Or is that vote only counted on the ballots for that specific candidate’s party?”

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  • anon

    You would be nominating that person to be the candidate for YOUR party, so it wouldn’t really count if they’re running in the other party.

    • GoVote

      This is correct. (election lawyer here). It will be counted, but it will be counted as a vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee for that particular office. It does not get counted toward the candidate’s total in the Republican primary and would have no effect on whether the candidate became the Republican nominee. So, for example, if you voted for Trump in the DC Democratic primary, you’d be casting a vote for Trump to be the Democratic nominee for president. It does not get counted toward Trump’s total from the Republican primary, and would have no effect on whether he became the Republican nominee.

      Since relatively fewer voters are going to think to vote for Trump in the Democratic primary, your vote will have little effect (though — arguably, any single vote has little practical effect), but it will go on the record as having been cast.

  • jcm

    No, it wouldn’t count. You are voting in your party’s primary election. So if you’re a registered republican, you are voting to choose the republican candidate. And if you write in Bernie Sanders, you are voting for him to be the republican candidate. Your vote has no effect on the democratic primary election.

    • Amber

      Also, if you are a registered Republican, you’re rather SOL because the republican primary in DC was on March 12. You can change your affiliation, at least 30 days before the primary (Democratic primary is June 14, so you have until Monday the 16th to change).
      But, since the OP was asking about writing in for city council: The 3 at-large democratic candidates right now are Orange, Garber, and White. Grosso and Franklin already have the independent nomination for the at-large seats, and Celnik has the republican nomination. You could nominate one of those people on the democratic primary, but yes it would be useless, because they’re already on the ballot. You could also nominate “Frank” (a republican) who maybe lost the republican primary, but even if a ton of people wrote in Frank, it’s unlikely the DC Democratic Party would then help Frank’s campaign once he got the nomination.

  • Anonymous

    No, but a $50 donation might help.

  • JTsombikos

    I miss Borf.

  • Election Geek

    Goodness you’ve gotten some bad information from GoVote and Amber.

    D.C.’s primaries are closed (presidential and local), so you may not vote for a local candidate in another party than the one in which you are registered. I mean you CAN write it in, but it absolutely will NOT count.

    While the DC GOP held their presidential preference convention in March, there are a small number of Republicans running for local offices and therefore there will be a Republican ballot on June 14 (in addition to Democrat and Green).

    Even though you can register and vote during early voting and on primary day, you may not change your party affiliation at that time. You have until May 23 to change your party affiliation.

  • andy

    I think it’s basically like voting for representative of your club from among its members. If your preferred candidate is not a member of your club, he or she will not be chosen.

    • textdoc

      I wonder what Groucho Marx would say about this.

  • Dan

    This is good information to know. I am a registered Democrat. However, I am going to write in Donald Trump’s name in the D.C. primary and vote for Donald Trump in the general election. I suspect there may be voter tampering during the general election because there’s so much corruption within D.C. government. I know the majority of D.C. residents are supporting a Democratic candidate and my vote for Donald Trump in the general elections might not be counted.

    • textdoc

      This posting is ironic, right?
      It is a foregone conclusion that in a Democratic/Republican race, the Democratic candidate will win D.C. and its electoral votes. The margin by which this happens doesn’t really matter.
      D.C. government certainly has corruption, cronyism, etc., but I don’t think I’ve ever seen allegations of voter fraud (which is, of course, suspected much more widely by Republicans than it actually exists). To the extent that there’s any kind of election-related fraud in D.C., it’s been made-up signatures on the petitions that candidates need to file to be on the ballot, and then of course stuff like Vince Gray and his “shadow campaign.”

      • Anonymous

        Dan’s post exhibits the clarity and depth of thought that I would attribute to a Trump supporter, so I’m inclined to believe it’s sincere. (FYI, I’m being sarcastic. I think.)


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