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Some local voters considering writing in a Presidential candidate in 2016 general election
The two major-party nominees have favorability ratings of less than 50%.
By Ashley Richmond | firstname.lastname@example.org
Two weeks to go until election day and a lot of voters still say they can't decide who to support for President.
The two major-party nominees have favorability ratings of less than 50%. A recent CNN poll shows Hillary Clinton with only 46% and Donald Trump with just 41%.
For comparison, Barack Obama had a 69% favorability rating while running for office in 2008.
Now, the lack of interest in both Clinton and Trump has some voters considering writing in their own choice. There's a push to get voters to write-in Bernie Sanders as President. The people behind this grassroots movement called Operation Deny 270 say they know it's a long shot, as neither a third-party or write-in candidate has ever won, but that's not stopping them from trying to get the senator from Vermont into the White House.
"Neither Trump or Hillary have my vote. Even the other two, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, never had my vote to begin with," said Wesley Clemens from West Branch, Iowa. That's what led Clemens to join Operation Deny 270.
"There's so many people that don't know he can be written in their state, or will get counted. We're just trying to basically educate people. If they don't like either of their options, there is another option," said Clemens. In a written statement, Clemens added, "We are not telling people how to vote, just trying to educate voters that there are other options. And to encourage people to vote for whom they want to be President and not to vote for who they think will win nor to vote out of fear."
The goal of Operation Deny 270 is simple: If enough people write-in Bernie Sanders for president, it could mean Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump wouldn't get the 270 electoral college votes they need to win. The House of Representatives would then choose the next President from the top three candidates.
"If it gets thrown to the house, it's the new house. Not the current one full of republicans," said Clemens.
So how does the write-in process work?
43 states currently allow voters to write-in a Presidential candidate. In Illinois, a candidate has to file an Intent to be a Write-in Candidate form in order to be considered. Officials from the Illinois State Board of Elections say as far as they know, Sanders has not filed that form in any of the major counties.
In Iowa, anyone can be written in and those votes will be counted. As far as how to write your candidates name, the folks from Operation Deny 270 are telling people to write-in Bernard Sanders; but even if you write Bernie or Senator Sanders, it'll count.
"Even if it's 'Berney Sands' or something like that... What was the intent of the voter? Can we clarify what that person was really trying to write or do? And we always side on the side of the voter. So if it's not exactly right, we'll still give them credit for it," said Roxanna Moritz, Scott County Auditor.
Due to the possibility for human error, poll workers actually tally write-in votes by hand, instead of using a machine.
For more information on voting in Scott County, click here.
For more information on voting in Rock Island County, click here.