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Write-in candidates on the election ballot

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Plenty of people have said they aren`t thrilled with the choices this election season, but WREG has learned putting your own write-in on the ballot doesn't mean that vote will be counted.

"If I write in Bernie Sanders per say, I am sure my vote will be counted," one voter told us.

Most people assume write-in is just that. Y

ou can put down any name you wish and they will get your vote.

Not true, according to Shelby County's Administrator of Elections, Linda Phillips.

"You can write in anything you want, but it isn't going to count," she said.

That's because in Tennessee, a write-in candidate has to file as a write-in with the state 50 days before the election.

"The Secretary of State sends us a list. We don't publicize it. It's up to the write-in candidate to garner their own publicity and make people aware they are on the ballot as a write-in candidate," said Phillips.

Election officials now say there are several candidates that filed to be write-ins.

There will be a write-in slot on the ballot when early voting starts Wednesday and on election day.

The key is those candidates must be certified.

"There is a write-in line on each ballot. If the voter fills it out and there is no certified write-in, it won't count. We won't report it. We won't even look at it," said Phillips.

Those certified include:

  1. Laurence Kotlikoff
  2. David Limbaugh
  3. Evan McMullin
  4. Marshall Schoenke
  5. Darrell L. Castle
  6. Cherunda Fox
  7. Tom Hoefling
  8. Kyle Kenley Kopitke

It's important information as election officials expect a large turnout for voting. In the last two days alone, they have processed 6,500 voter registration forms.

We also contacted election commissioners in Desoto and Crittenden County.

In Mississippi, there is also a filing deadline for write-ins.

In Arkansas, the only way your write-in candidate is counted is if any of the other candidates in that particular race withdraws, dies or is removed from running.