Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dear Secretary of State Worley

The following letter was sent via email yesterday to Secretary of State Nancy Worley. I received a read receipt but no actual response as of yet. I will mail it with a return receipt request by regular post today.
Date: October 17, 2006

From: Loretta Nall, Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Alabama (WRITE-IN)

To: Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley

Subject: Write-in Votes in the 2006 General Election

The purpose of this letter is to request that my write-in votes be counted and included in the official election results in the 2006 general election.

As the Libertarian candidate for Governor I have campaigned across the state despite not having ballot access and many thousands of Alabamians plan to write my name on the ballot and they all expect their votes to be counted, tallied and reported on Nov. 7 along with the results of the major party candidates.

Although the law doesn't explicitly say that write-ins must be counted, because write-ins are legal it is core doctrine of constitutional law that they must be counted. “There is more to the right to vote than the right to mark a piece of paper and drop it in a box or the right to pull a lever in a voting booth. The right to vote includes the right to have the ballot counted.” South v. Peters, 339 US 276, 279 (1950). “The court has consistently recognized that all qualified voters have a constitutionally protected right to cast their ballots and have them counted at congressional elections. ... Every voter’s vote is entitled to be counted once. It must be correctly counted and reported. As stated in United States v. Mosley, ‘the right to have one’s vote counted’ has the same dignity as ‘the right to put a ballot in a box’.” Gray v. Sanders, 372 US 368, 380 (1964). “Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the state may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person's vote over that of another.” Bush v Gore, 531 US 98 (2000).

It is possible that our candidates could win the election by write-in vote. Nationwide, 6 candidates have been elected to U.S. Congress at by write-in. Strom Thurmond was elected to the U.S. Senate by write-in in 1954. Therefore, failure to count and report write-in votes would be a fundamental abuse of constitutional process and breach of voter trust. Further, because minor party status statewide and major party status in counties is determined by whether party candidates achieve a certain percentage of the vote, failure to count and report write-in votes would be a violation of the law.

As a candidate who is running on a write-in candidacy I expect the Secretary of State to provide a statewide count and county by county breakdown of my votes. County boards of elections and local precinct judges of elections should be instructed to count all write-in votes for me as the Libertarian candidate for Governor and report their totals. In addition, we request that these tallies be included in the official state election returns of November 2006.

For Alabama to tally some legal votes, and not others, is unconstitutional.


Loretta Nall
Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Alabama

4633 Pearson Chapel Rd
Alexander City, AL 35010


Dan said...

Well done. I'll write a similar letter this afternoon.

Loretta Nall said...

Thanks Dan. I hope others will follow your lead and write to demand that their vote be counted.

Kevin said...

How do I go about "writing-in" my choices here in Alabama? Isn’t the voting done using machines?

Loretta Nall said...

Hi Kevin,

The only machines I am aware of here in Alabama arethe ones that count the paper ballots. There is no electronic voting that I am aware of. To write a candidates name in on the ballot you simply do just that. I suggest you stop by the probate judges office in your county and ask for a sample ballot. Each catergory on the ballot has a place for writing in an alternative candidate in the event that you
find the state sanctioned choices unpallatable.

Here is a link to a Tallapoos County Sample Ballot with instructions on write-in voting.

Loretta Nall