With election day just two weeks away the Waukesha County Clerk is reminding voters that - in the state of Wisconsin - so-called protest votes are no longer counted.
With election day just two weeks away the Waukesha County Clerk is reminding voters that - in the state of Wisconsin - so-called protest votes are no longer reported in election results.
That means you could write-in anyone from Superman to Bernie Sanders and that vote won't be recorded because the candidates has not registered as write-in candidate, the Waukesha County Clerk said.
The law - which went into effect before the last governor's election in August of 2014 - basically means that write-in candidates need to fill out some simple paperwork before their supporters can vote for them. If the paperwork is not filled out, the votes are classified as scattering.
"It just basically is treated as a non-vote," Kathleen Novack, Waukesha County Clerk, said.
So what counts and what doesn't?
Donald Trump is on the ballot so a vote for him counts.
Donald Duck is not on the ballot - a write-in vote for him will not be recorded or reported because he is not a registered write-in candidate.
Sen. Ted Cruz ran in the Republican primary but he's not a registered write-in. A vote for him would be tossed out unless a large percentage of people vote for him. Even in that situation Sen. Cruz would need to fill out the Wisconsin paperwork by the Friday following the election to become a registered candidate.
But Evan McMullin, the presidential candidate gaining support in Utah and Nevada, is a registered write-in candidate. Thus, write-in votes for McMullin would show up in election results immediately.
Candidates have until noon on the Friday before election day to complete the paperwork to become a registered write-in. Candidates must file at the level of their race (with Federal races going through the State level).
Again, this is Wisconsin state law. People in some other states will still have their votes counted immediately for candidates including Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz if one of their names is written in.
UPDATE: Another section of state statute does provide for unregistered write-in candidates to be counted if they secure a certain percentage of the vote.
"Compliance with this subsection may be waived by the commission but only if the results of the general election indicate that a write-in candidate for the office of president is eligible to receive the electoral votes of this state except for noncompliance with this subsection. In such event, the write-in candidate shall have until 4:30 p.m. on the Friday following the general election to comply with the filing requirements of this subsection."