Congressional Quarterly has just published “America Votes 2010”, a 465-page book of election returns from each state for Congress and Governor. The book is the 29th in the series. A similar book is published every two years. The author, as in recent past years, is Rhodes Cook.
America Votes 2010 is the only reference book published so far that includes the Pennsylvania write-ins from November 2010. Pennsylvania permits write-in votes, but some counties of Pennsylvania fail to count any, and the state is very reluctant to include the write-ins in its official returns. Pennsylvania’s Department of State didn’t canvass them for four months after the election, and as a result, the other publications that include official election returns failed to mention any write-in votes. Other organizations that publish official election returns are the Federal Election Commission and the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Even America Votes doesn’t say who received the Pennsylvania write-ins. One reason Pennsylvania has so much trouble with write-ins is that it is the only large state that has no procedure by which a write-in candidate can file a declaration of candidacy. Therefore, the law requires Pennsylvania election officials to count and canvass all write-ins, even the silly ones. So, the result is that frequently, there is no canvassing of any write-ins at all. The minor parties that were left off the ballot in 2010 complained about this, but the federal courts said they didn’t have standing to complain about the policy, which was an absurd conclusion.