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Alabama: counting write-in votes costs counties time and expense

The Birmingham News reports: Those write-in votes eat up the time and patience of election officials and poll workers, said Kim Melton, who supervised Shelby County's general election this year because [Probate Judge] Fuhrmeister was ill.

Melton estimated that about 6,000 write-in votes were cast on the county's 49,009 ballots.

"In our office, two clerks worked on it for three days just to compile all of the write-ins from all the precincts into one report," Melton said. "It takes longer for everyone to get back on election night because the poll workers have to list write-ins that night at the precinct.

"And it definitely caused a backlog in other things that we do in this office," she said. -- Write-in votes try patience of poll workers


35 states have a law, requiring write-in candidates who wish to have their write-ins tally file a declaration of write-in candidacy. I have been trying to persuade Alabama to pass a similar law for over 20 years. If the state would do this simple thing, the burden of counting most write-ins would be lifted.

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