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Election officials still deciding whether Joseph Alfonso will appear on November ballot

Joseph Alfonso
Joseph Alfonso

Joseph Alfonso ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary for Congress, in Michigan's Fourth District. But will he appear on the ballot in November?

Alfonso was a write-in candidate, and that makes everything complicated. A candidate who makes the ballot wins with a simple majority. But Alfonso has to get a certain number of votes. How many votes? Well... that's complicated too.

It depends on how many people live in the district. And which Democrat in all of District 4 got the most votes. But first, election canvassers have to figure out how many votes Alfonso got.

Unofficial results can be deceiving. Kalamazoo County's website shows 9,596 Democratic write-in votes for the district. But Clerk Meredith Place says that doesn't mean Alfonso got that many votes. "It could be Mickey Mouse. It could be you, it could be me. You know, it could be anybody that the voter writes in," she says.

Or doesn't write in, if they just filled out the bubble. County canvassers continue to count the write-in votes. Then the state has to review them. It's expected to make a final decision later this month.

Leona has worked as a journalist for most of her life - in radio, print, television and as journalism instructor. She has a background in consumer news, special projects and investigative reporting.