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Could Bernie Sanders Be Our First Write In President?

With most exit polls predicting an unsurprising runaway win for Hillary Clinton on the democratic side of the aisle tonight; we may have to turn to alternative methods of getting a different kind of candidate elected. Every election year we hear people talking about writing in a political candidate which, most times, has been the equivalent of throwing your vote in the trash and walking away, content with “the principle of the whole thing”, or some goofballs writing in a cartoon character. But maybe the times are a’changin’ and this might be the year that we need to seriously consider a push for supporting a write-in candidate for the White House. To date, the most notable win by a write-in candidate is Senator. In 1954, Strom Thurmond became the first person to win a senate seat over campaigners listed on the ballot, by write-in vote. So, why not for President?

With the machinations of our political process becoming buzzwords in the media, one can’t help but wonder what effect Superdelegates might have on the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election.  Superdelegates, a word that brings to mind a cape-wearing politician with superhuman powers, may be the swan song for Bernie Sanders. They are unpledged voters who are under no pressure or obligation to vote for the people. Instead, they can vote as they see fit, and can do so in a political climate where reality feels more like scenes from House of Cards or Scandal, and screams of dark, smokey back rooms where personal deals are made in the shadows and away from public scrutiny.

This is the makeup of the delegates for Super Tuesday; Alabama(Delegates: 53D, 50R), Alaska(Delegates: 0 D, 28R), Arkansas(Delegates: 32D, 40R), Colorado(Delegates: 66D, 0R), Georgia(Delegates: 102D, 76R), Massachusetts(Delegates: 91D, 42R), Minnesota(Delegates:77D, 38R), Oklahoma(Delegates: 38D, 43R), Tennessee(Delegates: 6D, 58R), Texas(Delegates: 222D, 155R), Vermont(Delegates: 16D, 16R), and Virginia(Delegates: 95D, 49R). In order to win the Democratic nomination, a candidate must win 2383 delegates. If the early exit poll analyses are correct, and we have little reason to believe they aren’t, Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead.

As we see more voters in some historically conservative states becoming more liberal, and more fears that there is too much money in the political process, the Electoral College seems like an antiquated method of doing business and way too much like business as usual. We may have to storm the Bastille and take the election into our own hands, literally. We have seen the crowds that Bernie Sanders has drawn to his speaking engagements.

Bernie Crowd 1Why not utilize the sheer will of the people to force the revolution we want to see happen? As people square off, trying to decide what they will do if Bernie doesn’t win the party nomination, they only seem to see two options; to vote for Hillary with gritted teeth or stay home and not vote at all. The problem is gathering enough momentum behind the process to actually mean something, and that means dealing with the apathy that seems to beset Progressives and Liberals on voting day.

If the status quo or the establishment refuses to work for the will of the people, the people have to force their hand and maybe we have reached a point in history where the write-in vote can move the political process out of those dark rooms and into the limelight.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

20 Comments

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  1. Unfortunately in Missouri, a candidate who has lost a primary, or who has not filed a declaration of intent with the SoS (which involves getting a notarized delegate from every district to represent them at the electoral college) is ineligible for write in status. So it would literally be a wasted vote here. I imagine we’re not the only state to do that, either.

    My chosen candidate in 2012 was unable to qualify for it, because he was Rocky Anderson from the Justice Party, and no one had heard of him. Jill Stein only qualified for write in status that year, and Gary Johnson was the only third party candidate on the actual ballot. Yay democracy.

  2. He could absolutely be the first write-in President! We all know the numbers the “polls” and corporate-owned news channels give us are bogus. If Bernie isn’t on the November ballot,
    (a) That will be proof positive that America’s election system is corrupt.
    (b) I won’t waste my vote on Hillary, or even the Green Party. I will WRITE IN BERNIE.

  3. Does every state allow for a write in for president? I tried to find out but haven’t been successful. If we can do that in every state, we need to start a movement. Pamela can you find out and post a follow up?

  4. Sanders right hand should be fastened to the podium he is speaking from. His RIGHT HAND JUSP POPS UP LIKE MY YOU KNOW WHAT POPS UP LOOKING AT A BEAUTIFUL CHICK.

  5. Sanders right hand just pops up everytime he says a few words. Watch it popping up! I hate to watch him as always looking furious old grumpy man. He is a big nuisance to the democratic party and especially to Hillary Clinton. Sanders should go to Indian temples and pray his God as he is just too old too old too old and too old. I wonder if his…better not say..

  6. Honestly there are not enough people who will vote for him if so we could use the votes for Hillary Clinton honestly. If we pull our resources we can knock Trump out Trump supporters run deep and strong and it’s going to be a cold day if he wins because of our stupidity it’s a vote or die situation but remember the last time it was vote or die bush stayed in office ruined office and left 5hose same people are voting for Trump will American die again…..

  7. We have been pushing for the 93 million millennials to WRITE IN BERNIE SANDERS but no one is listening! The DEMOCRATS tried to knock out a mayoral candidate in Detroit, but instead the residents wrote Mike Duggan in and he is the Mayor of Detroit today!!! He is not the only one! Look up how many have won that way…it is a long list. Bernie needs to get his act together before Charles Ortel sends the Corrupt Clinton’s to prison for quid pro quo activities and money issues. Isn’t anyone interested in keeping clueless Trump and lying treasonous Hillary out of the White House besides ME??????????

  8. My suggestion to all of you is to research the viable write ins who could not afford to be popular. If you want to start a movement, make it count. You can Google the 2016 list of write ins.

  9. If each of the over 200 MILLION of us in the U.S. had the choice to vote for, (Yes), OR against, (No), the 537 people in the Congress & Executive branch the need to write-in any candidate’s name could be eliminated. And every elected politician would have common ground to work together. One person, One vote, Two choices.
    And how many more people would vote, if we were each able to say, “I do not want you in office,” to a candidate, by voting NO by their name?

    This could be a check on political rhetoric by having balanced ballot.

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Could Bernie Sanders Be Our First Write In President?