Local paper publishes list of write-in votes. “Elmo”, “bag of rocks” almost wins

From Online Athens:

Sure, if you’re looking for a write-in candidate for a congressional race in a devoutly Christian corner of the Deep South, long-dead 19th-century British naturalist Charles Darwin, who laid the groundwork for evolutionary theory, might be just the guy you need to make a political statement.

But if what you’re looking for is a write-in prospect with proven versatility, who’s shown up for races from coroner to Congress, then there’s just one candidate for you: a big-eared, shirtless, 84-year-old cartoon rodent in red short pants, yellow shoes and white gloves. So if you’re serious about getting votes, you need to get serious about getting Mickey.

That’s M-i-c-k-e-y, last name M-o-u-s-e.

A perennial write-in favorite for disaffected voters and political pranksters, Mickey Mouse acquitted himself particularly well in Athens-Clarke County balloting in Tuesday’s general election.

Most of the attention directed toward write-in candidates in Athens was focused on the grassroots campaign to have voters write-in Darwin’s name in the 10th Congressional District race to protest incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Broun’s contention at a sportsmen’s banquet that evolution and other aspects of science were “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

That effort produced about 4,000 votes — less than 2 percent of Broun’s total of 209,917 votes in the east Georgia district, but roughly 20 percent of the 16,980 legitimate votes he got in Athens in his all-but-unopposed effort.

Mickey’s long-time girlfriend, Minnie, tallied a few write-in votes, but showed nowhere near the political star power of her boyfriend. She got just one vote in the 10th Congressional District contest; three votes for Cowsert’s Senate seat, and two votes in the House District 118 seat won by Democrat Spencer Frye.

But perhaps that’s easily understood when considering the competition that Minnie — and Mickey, for that matter — were facing Tuesday. A host of other cartoon stars, puppets and childhood icons also figured in the mix of local write-in votes. Hello Kitty, Elmo, SpongeBob SquarePants, Bambi, Bart Simpson, Bozo, Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, Howdy Doody, Miss Piggy, Snoopy, Santa Claus, Batman and Big Bird — the big yellow Sesame Street character whose numbers were no doubt boosted by a cameo appearance in the presidential debate — all were listed in Tuesday’s write-in results in Athens.

And, of course, there were some far less innocent, far more scatological, and, frankly, far more troubling, write-in choices by local voters.

Satan got a couple of votes; cable TV’s Honey Boo Boo was “redneck-ognized,” and Seymour Butts was penned in by a voter who, it is to be hoped, was at least chronologically eligible to vote.

Also earning votes were “A Bag of Rocks” and “A Wet Rag.”

And, perhaps most interestingly, “Bacon” got a handful of write-in votes in Athens, possibly from voters concerned, one way or another, about pork-barrel spending.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Online Athens