Bernie Sanders formally nominates Hillary Clinton for president
Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to be president, but he could snatch three electoral votes in Vermont.
That’s because Vermont is one of seven states that allow voters to write in anyone for president, even if they have no intention of running for office.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two of the most disliked presidential candidates ever, and Google searches for write-in ballots are skyrocketing.
Vermont is one of the states asking Google about write-in votes the most. A write-in vote for Sanders in Vermont would be treated like a vote for Trump or Clinton.
Only Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Iowa and Oregon allow voters to write in anyone for president.
The majority of states, 34, also allow write-in votes, but the candidate must complete paperwork to have votes counted. Nine states do not allow write-in votes for president. Here is a state-by-state guide to election laws for write-in candidates.
In addition to Trump, Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson, who are on the ballot in all 50 states, five other candidates have access to enough votes to win in November.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle, Reform Party candidate Rocky De La Fuente, independent Laurence Kotlikoff and independent Evan McMullin are either on the ballot or have filled out the paperwork to be considered as a write-in candidate in enough states to win.
McMullin is within striking distance of winning Utah.
If a write-in candidate were to win a state on November 8 and Trump or Clinton fails to gain 270 electoral votes, the House of Representatives chooses the president between the top three candidates.
Write-in candidates have won Senate races in recent years. In 2010, incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski waged a successful write-in campaign after losing the Republican primary to a Tea Party challenger.
Presidential candidates have won states during the primary as write-ins, including Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, but no write-in candidate has ever won a state in the general election.
The list of potential write-in candidates includes some colorful characters like “Buddy the Elf” from North Pole, Alaska and “Darth Vader” from Spokane, Washington.
This article was updated after Kotikoff’s campaign provided documentation that he is a certified write-in candidate in enough states to obtain 270 electoral votes.