Write-in, what then?

Local woman runs for legislature


  Students old enough to vote are in for an unusual primary election on May 15. Judy Pederson stands to run as a write-in candidate against incumbent Mike Groene for the state legislature.

Lincoln County Clerk Rebecca Rossell says that write-in candidates are more common in local elections “The larger scale the election, the more unusual it is for a candidate to run as a write-in,” she said.

There are two important things to remember when voting for a write-in candidate Rossell said. “They need to write-in the name,” she said “but they also have to fill in the oval.”

Rossell also said that it is important that the oval is filled in all the way. “The machine counts the ovals, so if the machine doesn’t count one, then they won’t count that ballot,” she said.

According to Nebraska law, to win a spot on the general election ballot, write-in candidates must earn 5 percent of the total votes cast during the most recent Nebraska governor or U.S. presidential election within the district they’re running to represent. Pederson would need 5 percent of the total votes from the 2016 presidential election.

If Pederson gets the needed number of votes, she will be on the ballot with State Senator Mike Groene in November. “As much as it’s nice for a candidate to not have an opponent, it’s really nice for the people who are voting to have a choice,” Pederson said.

Groene said he is not concerned about beating an opponent. “I run for office to do public service and protect our freedom,” said the 42 District Senator. “I expect to be reelected, because the citizens of Lincoln county know I represent them as individuals.”

Pederson hopes to provide voters with a choice.

The write-in candidate has been focused on educating voters on the spelling of her name. “The intent has to be clear in order for the ballot to count,” Rossell said.