from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A vote cast by writing in the name of a candidate not on the ballot.
  • noun A candidate voted for in this manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A candidate whose name is not listed on the ballot
  • noun A vote made for a candidate who is a write-in.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a vote cast by writing in the name of a candidate who is not listed on the ballot
  • noun a candidate for public office whose name does not appear on the ballot and so must be written on the ballot by the voters


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Though no African Americans were listed among the performers on the poll, Ray Charles won by what the campus newspaper called “an overwhelming majority with a write-in vote.”

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • "On Nov. 2, don't get scared by She Who Must Not be Named," the announcer says loudly, comparing Murkowski to the uber-villain in the popular Harry Potter book series while at the same time reminding/not reminding viewers that Murkowski is running as a write-in candidate.

    Ad of the day: Miller says Murkowski's 'not a witch'

  • Gray say that under campaign finance laws, the write-in group should have to purchase its own signs.

    Campaign finance office to look into 'Write Fenty In' signs

  • Most notably, Gray criticized Fenty for not doing more to end the write-in campaign push: I really wish, though, Bruce, he had just stood up and told these people: 'Look, I appreciate this; this is very nice of you, but let's stop it right now.

    DeMorning DeBonis: Oct. 26, 2010

  • Republican insiders now believe Murkowski has a real chance to become the first senator to win a write-in bid for Senate since Strom Thurmond as Miller has struggled badly since becoming the nominee.

    Colorado Senate race spending nears $25 million

  • Over the weekend, Save DC Now robo-called non-affiliated voters in the District urging them to write-in Fenty.

    Campaign finance office to look into 'Write Fenty In' signs

  • While the write-in campaign has almost no chance of success, the effort appears to be causing D.C. Council Chairman Gray to step up his get-out-the-vote efforts

    Voters can stamp 'Fenty' on ballots

  • Perhaps everyone attached to electing him on a write-in ballot needs to realize his or her candidate has checked out.

    DeMorning DeBonis: Oct. 26, 2010

  • Smith filed two formal complaints Friday with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics against write-in candidate Tyler Sadonis, the A Voice 4 U campaign and its public relations firm, Eagle Communications.

    DeMorning DeBonis: Oct. 26, 2010

  • With a knowing nod, Williams, who won his reelection race for mayor eight years ago via a write-in vote after problems with his nominating petitions, readily piped up, that yes, all such movements should be taken very seriously.

    DeMorning DeBonis: Oct. 25, 2010


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