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Politics

Sedgwick County Voters Pen 42,544 Write-In Votes, But Who Were They For?

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Sedgwick County voters cast 42,544 write-in votes during the general election, a record number up 22 percent from 2012. But whose names did they write, and why?

Chief Deputy Elections Officer Sandra Gritz says people choose to vote for someone other than the candidates who's names are printed on the ballots for a variety of reasons.

"Everything from there being only one candidate for an office to people just wanting to voice their opinions," she says.

This year, the races that saw the most write-in votes were for local district judges with more than 27,000. There were 20 different races for 18th District judge positions, which Gritz says compounded the amount of candidates penciled in by hand. She also says write-ins are not unusual in local races.

"In 2012, we had over 20,000 write-ins just for 18th District judge," Gritz says.

The presidential race had 4500 write-in votes ranging from candidates like Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Evan McMullin to statements such as "no confidence," "pray for us" and "a decent candidate."

Gritz says that while many of the votes were seemingly cast to prove a point, there were a fair amount that fall into a different category all together.

"One that I noted for this election was 'chuck roast' for one of the write-ins," Gritz says. "I guess there could be someone out there named Chuck Roast but I think it was somebody being witty."

Other names voters added to ballots included Mickey Mouse, rock star Joe Walsh, and Jesus Christ. 

The full list of write-in results can be downloaded here.

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Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.