Write-in option available in school board races

May 3, 2016

Buffalo voters will be deciding on six school board seats Tuesday. A few candidates, including one incumbent, were knocked off  the ballot. WBFO's Eileen Buckley talked with both the Democratic and Republican Erie County Board of Elections commissioners about what voters can expect.

Ballot area for voters.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Some candidates failed to gain the needed valid petition signatures to appear on the ballot. But Democratic Election Commissioner Len Lenihan tells WBFO News voters will be able to find an area on the ballot for a write-in.

Erie County Board of Elections voting signs.
Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

"When you go into an election booth now -- you get a ballot, which you can literally sit down and look over and it will have the names of the candidate and it will also have a box there -- clearly marked for write-ins. Frankly, in this day and age, it's easier to do a write-in campaign then it was before," explained Lenihan.

"Before, you had to look for a write-in slot on the machines, on this one, it's written right in under the names of the candidates, so if you can't find the name there that you want to vote for, that is on the ballot, via the petition process, you have an opportunity to write a name in."

Republican Election Commissioner Ralph Mohr said it's not  unusual to have write-ins, but this school board race turned very political raising challenges to some petitions.

"In the case of a highly contested school board election, it's unfortunate that we had so many candidates, who are running for the school board, subjected to the petition challenge and get thrown off the ballot as a result of their failure to submit a significant number of signatures," remarked Mohr.

Voters cast their ballots in the North, West, East, Park and Central, Districts.  The Ferry District incumbent is running unopposed.