Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 29, 2010

Twelve write-ins seek office

Some join race late to provide more choices


TRAVERSE CITY — A smattering of write-in candidates will seek election Tuesday, though their names won't appear on ballots at local polling sites.

Twelve people seek various offices as write-in hopefuls in Grand Traverse, Antrim, Leelanau, Benzie and Kalkaska counties. Some are in contested races, while others will help make sure there are enough candidates to fill open positions.

Harold E. Pendleton, 79, is a write-in for the non-partisan treasurer position in the village of Empire in Leelanau County. Pendleton, a resident of Empire since 1960, is up against incumbent Treasurer Glenn Baja.

Pendleton filed only a few days before the Oct. 22 write-in filing deadline. He's a former township supervisor, and said some friends encouraged him to run.

"I guess I've got a good chance," he said. "I'm not an unknown here."

Grand Traverse County Clerk Linda Coburn said people run as write-ins for various reasons. Some forget to get their names on the ballot, while others determine there's a need for more choices.

"They could have noticed that there's not enough people's names on the ballot for the number of offices that are vacant," Coburn said.

Such is the case in Peninsula Township, where two positions are open on the township library board. Write-in Jon Schmidtke will join Carol A. Butcher, the lone candidate on the ballot.

Not a single write-in filed to run in Antrim County. County Clerk Laurie Sexton said that's not abnormal.

"We very seldom get write-ins," she said.

Each county's board of canvassers is responsible for determining if an illegible or misspelled name on a ballot is intended to be for each registered write-in, and can reject entries that aren't up to snuff.