Sometimes ballot papers list official candidates, but also make provision for voters to write in an extra name of their choice. Votes cast in this manner and the candidates voted for are both referred to as write-ins.

Write-Ins in Worldcon Site Selection

The WSFS Constitution allows write-in votes on the site selection ballot, and those write-ins are counted just like any bidder. They are usually eliminated first in the preferential ballot counting process.

There is an old (but fortunately not very widespread) tradition in fandom to indicate indifference to who wins by humorous write-ins. A number of write-ins have become almost traditional: Minneapolis in '73, Highmore in '76 and Rottnest Island (which gets 1 vote most years), for example. Other fans write-in off the wall nominees in order to confirm that their ballots have been counted. As any nominees with only a single vote will be dropped if there is no winner on the first ballot, the fan's #2 vote will then move up to be counted in a more serious manner. This can backfire if the vote is decided on the first ballot or if there is a tie in the final round of voting (ties are broken by looking at the first place votes).

In the site selection conducted by ConFiction, however, Hawaii in '93 (which was a serious bid which had formed too late to secure a place on the site selection ballot) ran a write-in campaign, and came in second in a field of four. See 1993 Site Selection results for details.

Write-Ins for Fan Funds

Some Fan Funds also allow write-ins.

For the 1988 DUFF Race, there was a write-in campaign in support of the Rogers Street Laundry Door. (The Door was ruled inelligible.)
For the 2000 FFANZ Race, Murray and Natalie MacLachlan (as a team) outpolled one of the official candidates.