February 6, 2016

Keeping ‘Mickey Mouse’ from counting on the ballot

Legislation being considered at the Capitol would keep votes for “Mickey Mouse” from being counted on Election Day.

The bill from state Representative Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) would keep write-in votes on ballots from being individually counted, unless there is a registered write-in candidate or there is no one else officially running for the office. Write-in votes would still be tallied by ballot machines, but the individual names would not be recorded unless certain circumstances require them to be checked.

Bernier says many of those votes are often cast by individuals with a sense of humor or in protest of the candidates that appear on the ballot, but they can actually be costly and time consuming for local clerks to deal with. The former county clerk says eliminating the need to individually register each of those write-in votes could save clerks several hours during each election and when canvassing election results.

The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections is currently considering the bill.

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