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Write-in candidate

From Academic Kids

A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name. Write-in candidates rarely win, and votes are often cast for ineligible people or fictional characters. Most jurisdictions require write-in candidates to be registered as candidates before the election. This is usually mandatory in elections with large pools of potential office-holders, as there may be multiple people with the name that is written-in.

Notable write-in candidates include:

During the 2002 United States Congress Elections, film-maker Michael Moore led a campaign for voters to submit a ficus tree as a write-in candidate. This campaign was replicated across the country and was recounted in an episode of The Awful Truth.

History

Write-in candidates are a holdover from the time when ballot papers were blank, and had no names printed on them at all. Gradually, the ballots were arranged to have all the names of the candidates printed on them, with a "write-in" provision for latecomers.

International

In most jurisdictions around the world, write-in candidates are not recognised.


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