Erie Board of Elections readies for big Tuesday

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you’re still undecided about who you’ll vote for Tuesday, take comfort in knowing you’ll have more than just the four choices that  appear on your ballot.

You’ve heard of Trump and Clinton, Johnson and Stein. But what about De Le Fuente, Ingbar, Moorehead and Wolff?

Those are four of the 24 people who have registered with their respective state boards of elections to qualify as official write-in candidates for president.

Although none are from western New York, 13 of the 24 people are from New York State.

Each race — not just for president — includes a write-in line, and a corresponding bubble.

But don’t expect to see Donald Duck on the board of election’s official canvass. Every write-in vote will be counted, but only those who have registered as official candidates will be part of the official canvass.

“Write-ins are counted, as every ballot is counted and the names are recorded. If there is not a significant number of write-ins for a particularly candidate, it doesn’t get canvassed. It doesn’t become part of our official canvass,” said Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr. “However, if we recorded every single person, there would be thousands of peoples’ name that would be written in.”

Mohr and his Democratic commissioner counterpart, Len Lenihan, spent part of their day Thursday with area law enforcement agencies, planning for next week given the importance on voter and ballot security.

Most of the security measures have been in place for weeks, including with the voting machines, which began shipping out to their respective precincts Wednesday.

That effort will continue throughout the next few days until every poll is ready.

Elections commissioner said the machines could not be more secure. In addition to locks that require keys, there are also tamper-proof wire locks and a special seal on every machine that, if disturbed , will let the poll inspectors know.

BOE commissioners say they have plans in place to address any kind of trouble at polling places, including voter intimidation or overactive poll watchers.

“If we receive calls from inspectors with regard to poll watchers or if it becomes unruly, or if electioneering within 100 feet, our first response will be to send out our employees to address the problem,” Mohr said. “Over the years, there have been limited instances where we have needed law enforcement to assist us.”

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