Spring, 2014 | ELECTION WATCH • INTER-COUNTY LEADER
Understanding election laws
Write-in candidates must register; orms available from election clerks
Gregg Westigard | Staff writer
NORTHWEST WISCONSIN - Each year some people decide to run for office after the nomination period has closed. They may be willing to run for a position where there is no candidate on the ballot, a situation this year in one Polk County city and one Burnett County supervisor district. Or they may decide that an uncontested candidate should be challenged.
While all write-in votes are counted, Wisconsin election laws state that a person who intends to run as a write-in must register their candidacy. The law says that a Campaign Registration Statement (form GAB-1) must be filled as soon as intent to run is decided. Candidates register with the election clerk for the office they are running for. That could be the village clerk, county clerk, or school board clerk.
Registering as a write-in candidate shows the public that someone is willing to serve if elected and make the task of the election workers easier by letting them know which names might be written in. The Leader and Register will cover registered write-in candidates the same as candidates on the ballot.
Voters can write in the name of any person they wish. In some cases a person has won a write-in election who has no desire to serve and declines the election. The governing board must then make an appointment to fill the vacant seat. Registering shows that the write-in candidate is willing to be elected.