How to Cast a Write-in Ballot

These instructions come from the FAQ section of the Travis Co. Elections Web site ( and pertain specifically to the Hart InterCivic eSlate electronic voting machines, used in Travis and Harris counties; voters in other counties should check with their local election officials.

Q: How does E-slate handle write-in votes?

A: When choosing write-in, voters will be taken to a screen where the alphabet is laid out. They then turn the wheel to highlight and press ENTER for each letter needed to spell out their candidate's name. To finalize the write-in, they turn the wheel to highlight "accept" and press the ENTER button. If voters change their minds after the entry of the write-in, they may change their vote. [Ed. note: Spelling of the candidate's name does not have to be perfect, as long as it's close enough for election judges to determine the voter's intent.]

Q: Can you vote a straight party ticket and then make an exception on one or more races?

A: Yes. Straight Party is an option, however, voters may then go to any individual contest and change the mark from the one entered when they selected "straight party" to any other candidate of their choice. [Ed. note: Although Congressional District 10 candidate Lorenzo Sadun is a Democrat, voting straight party will not cast a vote for him; voters must scroll to the individual race and enter his name as a write-in.]

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