A Majority of Detroit Voters Cast a Write-in Vote for Mayor

On August 6, between 52% and 53% of Detroit voters cast a write-in vote for Mayor. See this story. This outcome, like the outcome in the Alaska November 2010 U.S. Senate race (won by write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski) is a rebuke to the six U.S. Supreme Court Justices who voted in Burdick v Takushi in 1992 that states have an interest in banning write-in votes. That interest, Justice Byron White wrote, is “stability.” Actually, when laws interfere with the ability of voters to vote for whom they wish, such a restriction is more likely to injure stability than to protect it.


A Majority of Detroit Voters Cast a Write-in Vote for Mayor — No Comments

  1. The Burdick MORONS were also brain dead ignorant about 14th Amdt, Sec. 2.

    How many write-in votes in 1866-1868 ???

  2. I’m hoping Duggan wins this, just to show that candidates that aren’t on the ballot or aren’t automatically put on the ballot CAN be viable. Actually, the fact that he’s gotten this far already proves it.
    It might even result in more votes for minor party and independent candidates come 2014.

  3. If there were no write-in provisions, then Duggan could have challenged the ruling that kept him off the ballot in the first place.

    Hawaii only required 15 signatures to qualify for the ballot for the legislature. There is simply no reason for write-in when it is trivial to qualify for the ballot.

    While it is not unconstitutional to have a law like in Alaska where disenchanted primary losers are actually encouraged to run in the general election, Alaska would be better off switching to a Top 2 Open Primary, where Murkowski likely would have qualified for the general election.

  4. We lost in Burdick, but something good did come out of it — the Supreme Court held that a state can only ban write-in candidates in the general election if ballot access to it is easy. (Although their definition of “easy” is not quite the same as mine.)

    Detroit is totally Democratic, but Michigan as a whole is mixed. I was born and raised in the Detroit area, so I’ve been following this case with considerable interest.

    My current state of Maryland bans write-in candidates in the primary only, which as far as I know is probably constitutional. But maybe the MD legislature might learn from the Detroit case, and repeal that bad law. Detroit is now apparently benefiting enormously from not having that restriction.

  5. My interpretation is that Justice White was unstable when he discussed “stability”.

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