Federal Law Seems to Require States to Tally Write-in Votes for President, if that State has a Write-in Declaration of Candidacy ProcedureNovember 11th, 2012
3 U.S. Code, section 6, is titled “Credentials of electors; transmission to Archivist of the United States and to Congress; public inspection.” The text of this law seems to require jurisdictions with electoral votes to count the write-in votes for all declared write-in presidential candidates, if that state’s write-in declaration procedure has provision for the write-in presidential candidate to also submit a list of presidential elector candidates.
Jurisdictions in which various minor party presidential candidates did file in 2012 for write-in status, and yet which in the past have refused to tally such write-ins, include Alaska, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. In Alaska this year, Virgil Goode filed for write-in status and included a slate of presidential elector candidates. Rocky Anderson did the same in the District of Columbia. It is believed that Jill Stein did the same thing in Wyoming.
The law says, “It shall be the duty of the executive of each State, as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the appointment of the electors in such State by the final ascertainment, under and in pursuance of the laws of such State providing for such ascertainment, to communicate by registered mail under the seal of such State to the Archivist of the United States a certificate of such ascertainment of the electors appointed, setting forth the names of such electors and the canvass or other ascertainment under the laws of such State of the number of votes given or cast for each person for whose appointment any and all votes have been given or cast.”
The Constitution Party intends to ask the Alaska Division of Elections to follow this law and to tally the number of write-ins cast for Virgil Goode, and the Justice Party had already made the same request to the District of Columbia Board of Elections.