How to vote for SEP candidates Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer

Due to reactionary, anti-democratic laws, the names of the Socialist Equality Party candidates will appear on the ballot in only three US states in the November 6 presidential election—Louisiana, Wisconsin and Colorado.

The requirements for obtaining ballot status in all 50 states are prohibitive without sizeable financial resources. Obtaining ballot status for a new political party in the United States would require collecting between one and two million signatures on petitions and spending roughly that number of dollars for signature-gathering, paperwork and legal action.

Voters in several other states can cast votes for Jerry White for president and Phyllis Scherrer for vice president as officially registered write-in candidates whose votes will be counted.

In many states, even though there is a space on the ballot for write-in votes where you can place the names of the SEP candidates, there is no requirement that election officials record or tabulate these votes or report them publicly. Some states simply do not permit write-in votes at all, or will not count them unless they would potentially change the outcome of the election.

While we call on all of our supporters to vote for White and Scherrer, the central purpose of the election campaign is to build a socialist leadership in the working class in preparation for the struggles that will develop after the elections. We urge all those who agree with our program to make the decision to join the Socialist Equality Party.


In Louisiana and Wisconsin, White and Scherrer are on the ballot and identified as the candidates of the Socialist Equality Party.

In Colorado, White and Scherrer have their names listed on the ballot with the party designation SEP, although the full name of the party is not spelled out.

In all three states, you cast a single, combined vote for White and Scherrer by selecting them from the list of presidential/vice-presidential slates on the ballot.

Below are instructions for writing in the SEP candidates in states with official certification. We recommend that you ask polling officials how to cast a write-in vote if you have any question as to the procedure. Please make sure to write in the name of both candidates, Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer. You do not need to write in the party name.

In California, the write-in procedure depends on whether you vote by mail or cast a ballot at the polls on November 6. White and Scherrer were included on a list of qualified write-in candidates made available to voters October 26.

Mail-in voters write the names and office titles for the two candidates—Jerry White, president; Phyllis Scherrer, vice president—on the inside of the Write-in Ballot Security Sleeve. Do not fill in the ballot card for any other presidential candidate. Enclose the ballot card inside the Write-in Ballot Security Sleeve and place both in the Ballot Return Envelope. Then put the Ballot Return Envelope in the mail so that it will be received by November 6.

Election-day voters write the names and office titles for the two candidates—Jerry White, president; Phyllis Scherrer, vice president—on the write-in long stub portion of the ballot card. Fold the stub over the voted portion of the ballot card and return to the poll worker.

In Michigan, you must write the names of the candidates on the ballot card in the space indicated for write-in candidates. Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer are official write-in candidates and votes for them will be tabulated and reported by the state election division.

In New York, the procedure for casting a write-in vote varies depending on whether your precinct has machines with mechanical levers or optical scanning.

For mechanical lever machines, raise the diagonal slide at the top of the machine, above the title of the office, President of the United States, and write in the names of Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer. Raising the slide prevents you from pulling the lever for any other presidential candidate.

For optical scanning machines, you will receive a paper ballot. Fill in the oval indicating you are casting a write-in vote for president, then write in the names of Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer. Insert the completed ballot into the optical scanner.

 Illinois, where the counting of write-in votes is a function of the county election authorities, not the states, votes for White and Scherrer will be recorded in Cook County and the city of Chicago; Dupage County (suburban Chicago); and Rock Island County. Write-ins in Illinois need only include the full name of the presidential candidate, Jerry White.

In Kentucky, a write-in space appears on the ballot under the heading “President and Vice President of the United States.” Please check the box for “write-in” and place the names Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer in the space next to the box.

In all other states, we ask supporters to write in the names of White and Scherrer as a class conscious statement of support for the socialist alternative to the two parties of big business.