MADISON COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The results of Madison County’s court race might not be clear when the polls close on Tuesday.
The Board of Elections will be able to report out the number of people who voted for Bradley Moses, the only candidate listed on the ballot, and the total number of write-in votes.
What won’t be known: how many of the write-ins will count for Rhonda Youngs, the other person campaigning for the job.
Youngs declared her candidacy after Moses, the only candidate at the time, was accused of overdosing on Fentanyl. A ballot deadline meant Youngs’ name couldn’t be printed and had to be written in by voters.
The Madison County Board of Elections reminds voters to write legibly and get as close to the proper spelling as possible. Voters are allowed to bring notes or pictures with accurate spelling into their voting booth.
Write-in voting sounds simple but has proven otherwise.
In 2020, in Oswego County, Mike Backus resigned from the job of county clerk and endorsed the write-in candidacy of Terry Wilbur. Because Backus was the only name printed on the ballot, he won. Wilbur’s name was written in for 14 other jobs, ultimately keeping him short of winning clerk.
In terms of counting write-in ballots, they’re done one-by-one. As soon as the voter feeds his or her ballot, the machine detects the write-in and puts the ballot in a special box within the voting booth, giving the Board of Elections workers easy access to that stack.
Names are read and inspected by a bipartisan team of vote counters, similar to how absentee ballots have been counted in the past.
The Madison County Board of Elections hopes to have full results by Friday.