For Write-In Candidate, Name Must Be Handwritten On Ballot By Voters To Count

With State Senator Marilyn Moore waging an insurgent write-in candidacy for mayor after losing a close primary to Mayor Joe Ganim, speculation has centered on Moore’s campaign handing out stickers or stamps to voters, in lieu of electors handwriting the name. Is it allowed?

“No, the name must be written on the ballot by the voter,” according to Gabe Rosenberg, spokesperson for the Connecticut Secretary of the State (SOTS), who consulted with a staff attorney about the supposition.

Last week Ted Bromley, a SOTS staff attorney, explained how the write-in process works during a forum at the Bridgeport Public Library. He told the group that MM would suffice as a vote for Moore because it satisfies the intent of the voter. But what if you have two write-in candidates with the initials MM? The intent would be uncertain.

Campaign operatives for both Moore and Ganim contemplated the possibility of Moore making it easier for voters to cast a ballot for her via a name sticker or a stamp presented in advance or in front of polling places. Talk about sticker shock.

Moore lacks a name ballot position in November after her campaign failed to file the necessary petition signatures to appear on the Connecticut Working Families Party line.

This is uncharted territory for a general election mayoral race. Write-in candidacies require an enormous educational outreach to voters, but the Ganim campaign operation is not taking her effort lightly after she won the machine count September 10 ousted by absentee ballots.

The bottom of the November 5th ballot will include a row for write-in candidates. Electors must fill in the circle for write-in, then write Moore’s name on the ballot, or a variation of it that represents the voter’s intent. The optical scanner voting machines are coded so that write-in ballots filled out are separated from the rest of the ballots and then hand-counted by elections officials.

“In a write-in candidacy, the tabulator automatically sorts ballots that have the write-in bubble filled in into a special container so that the write-in votes can be hand-counted at the end of Election Day,” says  Rosenberg. “All ballots where the voter’s intent to vote for a registered write-in candidate is clear should be counted.”

It’s a two-step process requiring voters to fill in the oval on the write-in line and then writing in the candidate’s name or some variation.



  1. This just in . . .

    SEEC votes to open investigation into absentee ballot irregularities in Bridgeport mayoral primary; issues subpoenas

    SEP 23, 2019 | 2:35 PM

    State Sen. Marilyn Moore, second from right in this 2017 file photo, has called for an investigation into absentee ballot irregularities in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary for mayor.
    State Sen. Marilyn Moore, second from right in this 2017 file photo, has called for an investigation into absentee ballot irregularities in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary for mayor. (Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)
    The state’s top election enforcers voted Monday to open an investigation and issue subpoenas regarding allegations of absentee ballot irregularities in the recent Democratic primary for mayor in Bridgeport.

    The State Elections Enforcement Commission voted 4-0 during a special meeting to move forward with the probe after complaints about voting irregularities in the Park City, which has been questioned in the past regarding problems in elections.

  2. Marilyn Moore and her campaign must go for the jugular of TestaGanim and most of the DTC. At this exact moment,I have serious doubts if the Moore campaign can go for the jugular.

    1. Harvey, who ever the DTC endorses they will start off the primary and the general election with anywhere between 800 to is 1000 absentee ballots especially with the street money flying around so a challenging candidate is always behind no matter what, I mean there are professional people out there who have getting ABs for years.

  3. Too many people are putting all of their hopes of taking out Joe Ganim as mayor, taking out Mario Testa as the head of the DTC, doing away with corruption, fixing the problems with the absentee ballot system so that it’s fair and legal, changing the DTC all on State Senator Marilyn Moore, that task never been put on the back of any one candidate, never. To accomplish all of those things requires much, much more than one candidate for mayor and this has to start right now by finding people to run for the DTC 90 member seats right now.

    Even with being out spend by Joe Ganim, even having two campaign managers, plus a few other mistakes in her campaign for mayor, Marilyn Moore still did what no other candidate for mayor has ever done before, Marilyn Moore did beat the golden boy Joe Ganim at the voting booth where more voters voted for Marilyn Moore, again, Marilyn Moore made history and that is now a starting point for everybody who wants to see change. Marilyn Moore is doing her part to get things changed but those who want change must do their part, this is the time to build. There are no perfect candidates, I didn’t care for Hillary Clinton but I understood that there was only two people who had a any chance to elected President and not voting or voting another person who had no chance to win that I would be throwing my vote away and I couldn’t do that because too many people fought so tat I could have that right to vote.


Leave a Reply