By Tim Craig
Voters who plan to write in Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on their ballots in the Nov. 2 general election won't even have to write.
With early voting starting tomorrow at five satellite sites in D.C. neighborhoods, The Write Fenty In Campaign has armed volunteers with "stampers" that they are giving to to those who want to cast their vote for Fenty even though his name is not on the ballot.
Josh Lopez, one of the leaders of the Write-In Fenty campaign, said volunteers hand the stampers containing Fenty's full name to voters as they walk into the polls. A voter then must fill in the oval next to the "write in" slot on paper ballots and use the stamper to cast their write-in vote.
A voter who uses an electronic machine will still have to type in Fenty's name, but the stampers are another sign that the write-in campaign is somewhat organized.
"It just makes it more convenient," Lopez said of the stampers. "If you don't know how to spell his name or don't want to go through the whole process, it's a convenience issue. You just stamp his name."
Earlier this week, Lopez said some staff members for Democratic primary winner Vincent Gray complained when they saw the stampers being used at the early voting site at Judiciary Square. But Lopez said he quickly pointed out to elections officials that the stampers are legal. Lopez said former Mayor Anthony Williams also used stampers during his successful 2002 write-in effort after he failed to qualify for the ballot.
While the write-in campaign has almost no chance of success, the effort appears to be causing D.C. Council Chairman Gray to step up his get-out-the-vote efforts
Earlier today, the Write Fenty In campaign sent out a statement complaining that a steady stream of taxirs carrying Gray supporters were arriving at Judiciary Square to cast early ballots. The taxi drivers are coordinating with the Gray campaign to ferry his supporters to the polls, a tactic that was also used during the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.