Who's on Third?
But one way to do that is to take a page from the playbook of the late former Mayor Albert T. McWilliams, also a party nemesis for his independence. Denied the party line for a third term in 2005, McWilliams tried everything including a write-in campaign and actually received nearly 3,000 votes in the general election, though not enough to prevail.
The write-in campaign was bolstered by new election laws that allowed voters to submit absentee ballots without having to state a reason. Mail-in ballots are very popular in other states and indeed, some require them. According to Union County rules, all the absentee ballots are optically scanned in on Election Day. One must apply for the absentee ballots and write-ins must be correctly printed, no stickers allowed.
If write-ins take place at the polls, voters must spell their candidate's name exactly. The McWilliams team offered ads and fliers on how to do it right, although later some leeway was allowed on the results.
The decision here is whether to broadly educate the public on how to do write-ins or rather to mount a stealth campaign to assure enough voters to upset the results. In one school board election, Veronica DeNoia won a seat with just such a stealth campaign. As a reporter, I followed tips and intuition enough to be able to reach her for a comment, even though her name was not even in the phone book.
If the rumors about a Third Ward write-in campaign are true, I can probably tell you right now who the candidate is. But I won't. Y'all figure it out.