INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Americans have expressed deep misgivings about both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton throughout the course of the presidential race. This week, their distaste is showing up in their search behavior.
Google Trends data indicates that the online searches for "write-in" surged over the last week by more than 2,800%, hitting a record high since 2004. The states with the highest rates of search are not battlegrounds, but Republican and Democratic strongholds.
As of Wednesday evening, three of the top market searches for "write-in" came in solidly Democratic states: Vermont, Delaware and New Jersey. Utah, a reliably red state that no Democrat has won since Lyndon B. Johnson; and Indiana, home to Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, round out the top five.
It’s important for Hoosier voters to realize that they can’t just write in any name though. For the vote to be counted, the name must be an official “write-in candidate” under Indiana law.
"If you write-in a candidate that is not a declared write-in candidate in Indiana, that vote would not be counted, but the rest of your ballot would be counted," explained Valerie Warycha, Deputy Chief of Staff & Director of Communications for the Indiana Secretary of State.
If you misspell a candidates name, it's up to each individual county to determine what candidate you wanted to write-in and if that vote will count.
With less than a month to go until Election Day, it's not clear whether there will be continued high interest in write-in candidates or if searches will translate into action at the ballot box.
According to data from the Federal Election Commission, write-in votes accounted for 0.11% of the vote in 2012, which doesn't sound like much, but was in fact the largest share in the last four presidential elections.