With the upcoming primary election, voters in Sandusky and Seneca counties must write in the name of the candidate they wish to hold the seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.
The 88th District primary election nominations in both parties are to be decided through write-in votes. Although the Democratic Party now has one declared candidate, Bill Young, the Republican Party's election is to choose the individual who would oppose him in the general election.
Although Rhonda Damschroder, Richard Geyer and Bill Reineke Jr. have distinctly different names, spelling them when writing
in a vote can effect a ballot's validity.
According to a 2013 directive from Secretary of State Jon Husted, ballots are to be segregated for inspection, then tabulation of the potential votes are made by the designated team consisting of an equal number of board employees from each major political party.
If the voter has written in an eligible candidate's first and last names, it would be counted as valid.
In this respect, a voter could write in Rhonda Damschroder's name and have the vote count, but if another voter writes in Rex Damschroder's name, it would not be counted because he is an ineligible candidate.
If a voter writes in part of an eligible write-in candidate's name, the board must count the vote if there is only one eligible write-in candidate with that first or last name.
As long as the name is legible, the vote would be counted toward that candidate.
Election officials also would try to determine the voter's intent if the name is misspelled.