AUGUSTA – Maine voters who don’t think they have enough choices for governor among the five candidates on the Nov. 2 ballot have plenty of other options.
Five declared write-in candidates hope to stage miracle Election Day triumphs. Four are listed as independents and one as unenrolled, although both terms mean the same because there’s no independent party.
The independents include businessman Samuel “Samme” Bailey of Gorham, homeless advocate Edwin Braley of South Portland, educator Beverly Cooper-Pete of Portland and former state senator and mayor John Jenkins of Auburn. Former race car driver Martin Vachon of Mariaville is listed as unenrolled.
Among the most active have been Bailey, who foresees an 11th-hour surge of the kind that put independent James Longley in the Blaine House in 1974, and Jenkins, the black-belt martial arts instructor who served one term in the Maine Senate as well as mayor of both Lewiston and Auburn.
Only declared write-ins can have their votes counted in initial tallies.
Under state law, an undeclared write-in who gets the most votes does not win, unless that candidate requests a post-election recount.
A 2009 revision makes it acceptable for voters to simply write down the candidate’s name; in the past, voters had to write down name and hometown.
The 2009 law also requires election officials to post a list of declared write-in candidates, with the office sought, next to the sample ballot that’s posted for voters at the polls.
In addition to the five gubernatorial write-ins, there are also a number of declared write-ins seeking other offices, including U.S. and Maine House seats.