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Counting write-in votes for New Hampshire primary

Supporters are running a write-in campaign for President Joe Biden in the New Hampshire primary, and voter intent is crucial.

In the absence of President Joe Biden on the first-in-the-nation primary ballot, his supporters have launched a write-in campaign. Election officials emphasize the importance of voter intent when it comes to write-in votes.

New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan stressed the significance of determining the voter's intent when counting write-in ballots. State law and a Supreme Court decision mandate that votes be counted based on voter intent, if it can be ascertained.

Voter intent is defined as what the voter's intent likely was. Even if the voter did not follow the instructions when filling out their ballot, if intent can be determined, the vote must be counted.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has directed that decisions should not be made on the basis of unwarranted technicalities, but rather on the legally expressed choice of the voters. The goal of election laws is to protect the rights of duly qualified voters, not to undermine them. It is important to determine a voter's intent by giving weight to all marks on the ballot, regardless of how the voter chose to cast their vote.

It is important to note that write-in votes for Biden will only count toward his total votes on the Democratic side if they are written on the Democratic ballot. According to the Election Procedure Manual, "the write-in vote will count as a vote toward that candidate in the party the voter received a ballot for."

While more write-in votes than usual are anticipated on Jan. 23, Scanlan remains confident that results will be announced on election night.

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