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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

14,660 Portlanders Wrote In Their Choice for Mayor

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM

The Halesees, announcing victory last night.
  • The Halesees, announcing victory last night.
It looks like Denis wasn't the only person who wanted to send Charlie Hales a message by writing in someone for the mayor's race. As I noted this morning, 7.7 percent of voting Portlanders wrote in someone for mayor. That's 14,660 people.

I was interested in how that compares to other recent Portland elections, so I looked up the history. This year's write-in number is huge compared to 2008, when in the primary election 92 percent of Portlanders voted for either Sam Adams and Sho Dozono (remember him?) and only .34 percent of voters wrote in a candidate. In 2004, between Jim Francesconi and Tom Potter, only 2,584 people (.94 percent) of the electorate wrote in their choice.

The closest parallel is probably from 2000, when only 50.25 percent of people voted for Vera Katz in the primary. Then, 20,297 people expressed their distaste for the candidate during the November election by writing in an alternative. That's a bigger write-in vote than when Katz was elected in 1996, when five percent of voters (11,030) wrote in an alternative during the November election.

Still 14,660 people who don't want to mark their ballot for Charlie Hales or Jefferson. He may have won the election, but the results hardly give Hales a mandate.

Next on the agenda: Getting the list of who was written in from the election's office... UPDATE: The Multnomah County Elections office doesn't record the write-in candidates for races unless they get more votes than a candidate, because it would cost a lot of money. Sad news. But, Elections Spokesman Eric Sample looked through a small sample of ballots to see who was written in: "The name I saw that was the most common was Eileen Brady and then Scott Fernandez, who I believe was mounting a write-in campaign, and then typically Sam Adams or Carrie Brownstein, the Portlandia person."

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