What happens when you do not vote for either candidate?

Brian Massie, Executive Director / March 15, 2022

We believe in addressing any “voter fraud” issue head on; and we would like to thank Mr. Ross McDonald for answering a question posed by a Lake County voter.

There are many times that there are two candidates running for an elected office and neither candidate appeals to the voter, so the voter does not cast a vote for either candidate. What are the procedures to ensure that someone does not select a candidate after the original ballot has been cast?

Issue:  If a voter does not register a vote for either candidate for a particular elected office, how can the voters be confident that someone does not fill in a vote for one of the individuals after the ballot has been processed?


Here are the answers from Mr. Ross McDonald, Director of the Lake County Board of Elections:

In no particular order of importance, here is information that I believe will address this concern:

  1. Ballots are handled by two individuals at all times: one Democrat and one Republican.
  2. The ballots themselves are stored in a secured room known as the tabulation room. That room is only accessible if two individuals are present (1Dem., 1Rep.). Without revealing our security protocols, we have measures in place to know who is in the tabulation room and for how long.
  3. Once the voter has returned their ballot, it spends the majority of its time inside the identification envelope or inside the storage box designated for the processing batch it came from. The only time a ballot is not in one of those places is when it is removed from the envelope for processing and when it is being scanned by the highspeed ballot counter. Both of the tasks I just stated are done in bipartisan fashion.
  4. It is illegal (a felony) to alter another person’s ballot, and is punishable by severe fines and jail time. On this point, I guess you will have to take my word for it that no one here at the Board of Elections likes politicians enough to do something so idiotic and illegal.


Ross McDonald Director


LFC Comments: LFC reply to Mr. McDonald: “Your word is ‘golden’ with me.”

Thanks to all the hard working Lake County Board of Elections employees, and their tireless efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Lake County.

Thanks to the Lake County Board of Elections team!


Categories: Lake, Lake County - General