Will write-ins bollix balloting in Second Suffolk?

Dianne Wilkerson certainly doesn’t have the sway to pull Barack Obama down with her. But might she make life difficult today for constituents in her district who flock to the polls in support of his historic candidacy?

On Friday, following her arrest on federal corruption charges, Wilkerson threw in the towel on what was already a long-shot write-in campaign to retain the state Senate seat she has held since 1993. On Saturday, Wilkerson urged a gathering of supporters to focus their efforts on supporting Obama. But when some asked whether they could still vote for her, Wilkerson campaign manager Boyce Slayman said she responded, "This is America, and it’s a democracy. You can vote for anybody you want." Why not a message to supporters to not write-in her name or do anything that might make voting more difficult for Roxbury residents who have been so good to her over the years?

With some Wilkerson supporters saying they still plan to vote for her, today’s Boston Globe reports that Boston elections officials are assigning extra staff to polls in the Second Suffolk district to deal with any problems the write-in balloting might cause.  If a significant number of write-ins by Wilkerson diehards leads to longer lines or in any other way gums up the works at Second Suffolk polling places, it will be a sad coda to what is surely her final campaign.