[EM] Write-in Candidate Rules

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Sun Dec 28 07:59:33 PST 2008

Dave Ketchum   > Sent: Sunday, December 28, 2008 4:24 AM
> My  memory  says you described procedures used in the UK when 
> something was needed to add new candidates after nomination deadlines.
> I cannot find such tonight, so proceed for US needs without assuming such.

I should have changed the subject before posting my last reply to Dave  -  now changed above.

There is no provision in the UK electoral law for public elections at any level that would allow the "nomination" of a candidate
after the nomination deadline had passed.  There is provision in the event of a candidate dying after the nominations have closed
(new election), but none that would allow the "late nomination" of a replacement candidate if some scandal broke around a nominated
candidate such that that candidate became unelectable.

If the scandalous candidate were not unelectable but went on to win, despite the scandal, that elected member could resign after the
election or be barred from office.  In both cases there would be a by-election to fill the resultant casual vacancy.


> > Dave Ketchum  > Sent: Friday, December 26, 2008 5:47 PM
> >>I agree that present write-ins are too informal, nominations are too 
> >>formal to cover all needs, and UK thoughts might help us with doing 
> >>something to fill the gap.

> In Sun, 28 Dec 2008 00:38:50 -0000 James Gilmour wrote: 
> > Dave, I'm surprised you should think any UK experience could help with 
> > this one (as you've suggested in a couple of posts), because our 
> > systems for public elections are all based on completely formal 
> > nomination.  The details differ, for example, as between local 
> > government elections (local authority councils) and parliamentary 
> > elections (at various levels), and as might be expected, there are 
> > fewer barriers for the former (no fees and no subscribers required).  
> > But since you've asked .............


> > So you see, our system is very rigid compared to the "write-in" 
> > provisions that are common in many parts of the USA.  ALL candidates 
> > must be formally nominated, both party candidates and independents, 
> > and the names of ALL candidates will be printed on the relevant ballot 
> > papers.  There is NO provision for a "write-in" of any kind and no 
> > provision for "None of the above".  (That, of course, does not stop 
> > some of the voters from expressing their opinions very clearly on the 
> > ballot papers!!)
> > 
> > Most UK organisations, large and small, from national trade unions to 
> > local badminton clubs, would follow essentially the same procedures, 
> > particularly with regard to making no provision for "write-ins" and 
> > requiring written confirmation by each candidate of consent to 
> > nomination.
> > 
> > So there you have it  -  but I don't think it provides many (any ?) 
> > useful pointers for a robust "write-in" procedure.  "Write-ins" are 
> > just not part of our political culture, but I do understand and do 
> > appreciate that, in their various forms, they are very much part of 
> > the political culture in the USA.
> > 
> > James

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