Wednesday, November 2, 2016
By Evan Smith
A letter here last week noted that Independent Republican Evan McMullin has registered as a write-in candidate for president.
In fact, McMullin is one of 62 registered write-in candidates for president in Washington state.
Another is radio host Dori Monson.
A registered write-in candidate can have his votes counted even with minor misspellings.
So, a write-in vote for Evan McMullin and "Evan McMullen" would not be counted as votes for two different people.
Washington doesn’t count any write-in votes unless the total number of write-in votes is enough to sway the election.
A registered write-in campaign worked in the 2012 primary, when no one had filed against Washington State Treasurer Jim McIntire. A Republican registered as a write-in candidate, placed second in the primary with at least 1 percent of the votes and qualified for the general election ballot, where her name appeared as a Republican against Democrat McIntire.
That state candidate got registered write-in status by paying the same fee as ballot candidates.
There’s no filing fee for president; so none of the 62 write-in candidates for president had to pay a fee.
Unlike ballot candidates for president, the write-in candidates don’t need running mates or slates of electors.
McMullin is the most credible of Washington’s 62 registered write-in candidates. He’s on the ballot in 11 states, most notably in Utah, where he says he can win, with the hope of denying either Democrat Hilary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump an Electoral-College majority, an event that would give the final decision to the U.S. House of Representatives, where McMullin once worked for majority Republicans.
McMullin has said that he also hopes to get enough votes in Arizona to make a difference.